Coal, the number one energy-based resource domestically, is often extracted through a process of mountaintop removal mining. Through this process, mountains are literally blown apart to efficiently access coal seams. The physical overburden is pushed into the valleys and streams below, leveling a once dynamic landscape. Through this violent process, coal is eventually extracted, processed, shipped, burned and then distributed through electric grids to much of the United States. Simply turning on the lights suggests a complex matrix of ecological, industrial, and human implications. (link)
Shea is also funding the travel for a related (and also terrific) project called “Plume” entirely though a print sale on his blog, and still has some prints available at great prices to help fund the exhibition of the work later this year in Kentucky.
But don’t stop with just having a look at this project; Shea has a number of other impressive works on his website. And see Pete Brook’s post and interview about Shea’s Baltimore Project over on Prison Photography. Also cool: Shea did a terrific interview with Alec Soth for Too Much Chocolate last year.