Write Around PAM: Mitch Epstein

A landscape photograph of a golf course set amid bare, brown rolling hills with wind turbines.
Mitch Epstein (American, born in 1952) Altamont Pass Wind Farm, California, 2007, Photograph, chromogenic print Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery , Reproduced with permission. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

As we deepen into summer, and record heat, droughts, and wildfires become part of the normal rhythms of the season, we are asked to reflect more about our response to the changing climate. Can we live in harmony with the earth? Where does our footprint end and nature begin? Photographer Mitch Epstein’s series American Power considers these questions in the context of American mass consumerism and sprawl, evidence of, in his words, “the American dream gone haywire.” His images of renewable energy—wind, biotech, solar—show “that a healthier, more economical and compassionate way of life is possible. American Power bears witness to the cost of growth; and it asks viewers to consider the landscape they have created—and take responsibility for it.” We invite you to consider these ideas and this image, then write about your thoughts. See Epstein’s work on view at the Portland Art Museum now through August 1 in the exhibition Ansel Adams in Our Time.

We have two prompts to help you get started. You can use one, both, or neither. Just set a timer for 8 minutes and keep your pen or pencil moving. 

The sky brings…/They never knew…

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past Sunday posts and look for continuing weekly posts through the summer with a focus on Ansel Adams in our Time during May, June, and July. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM @mitch_epstein

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