"Since its invention, photography has depended on the extraction and exploitation of so-called natural raw materials. After copper, coal, silver and paper, the raw materials of analog image production in the 19th and 20th centuries, photography in the age of smartphones is dependent on rare earths and metals such as coltan, cobalt and europium. Edited by Boaz Levin, Esther Ruelfs as well as Tulga Beyerle, 'Mining Photography: The Ecological Footprint of Image Production' is dedicated to the material history of central raw materials in the context of photography and establishes the connection to the history of their mining, disposal as well as climate change.
Featuring historical and contemporary works, the volume 'Mining Photography: The Ecological Footprint of Image Production' tells the story of photography as a history of industrial manufacturing and shows that the medium is deeply implicated in man-made changes to the natural world.
The exhibition accompanying the volume features contemporary work by Ignacio Acosta, Lisa BARNARD, F & D Cartier, Optics Division of the Metabolic Studio, Susanne Kriemann, Mary Mattingly, Daphné Nan Le Sergent, Lisa Rave, Alison Rossiter, Robert SMITHSON, Simon Starling, Anaïs Tondeur, James WELLING, Noa Yafe, and Tobias ZIELONY, among others, as well as historical work by by Eduard Christian Arning, Hermann Biow, Oscar and Theodor Hofmeister, Jürgen Friedrich Mahrt, Hermann Reichling and historical photographic material from the Agfa Fotohistorama Leverkusen, the Eastman Kodak Archive, Rochester and the FOMU Antwerp as well as mineral samples collected by Alexander von Humboldt from the collection of the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. Contributors (with texts), in addition to Boaz Levin, Esther Ruelfs, and Tulga Beyerle, are Siobhan Angus, Nadia Bozak, Brett Neilson, Christoph Ribbat, and Karen Solie." (somewhat adapted publisher's text, © Spector Books, 2022)