This untitled photograph shows a nature trail with a sign reading “wilderness.” Wilderness is commonly defined as a region or area of land uncultivated and undisturbed by human activity[1. Neyrat, Frederic. “Wilderness and Wildness.” Environmental Studies: The Humanistic Perspective. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. 11 Sept. 2013. Lecture.] . This definition proves this photograph to be rather ironic. If this scene represents wilderness, how is there a trail? This photograph restates the argument that often times what society believes to be wilderness is actually a manifestation of its own activities and influences. In this way, a sign that designates a nature trail as being a part of wilderness is false.
This picture, called “In the Wilderness” by Van Mensvoort, is an artist’s recreation of Bob Ross’ original painting titled “Wilderness Cabin.” The original painting lacks the yellow Hummer. In this version, the notoriously non-eco-friendly car, is situated next to a small cabin. The fact that the car is as big or bigger than the cabin may suggest that human influence on wilderness is continually growing and becoming ever more present in the world. Even if the car were to be removed from the picture, the man-made cabin would still represent remnants of human touch in wilderness. Both the hummer and the log cabin show an interesting point of view on the concept of rugged individualism which ties back to the idea of wilderness as the frontier.
This picture, called “Man and Nature” by Agim Sulaj, depicts a man toppling over a tree using his own strength. The muted colors and dark shading help reinforce the often negative topic of human’s influence on nature. The pushing over of the tree symbolizes wilderness’ submission to human force, for the pristine state of the tree once standing has fallen under human control. This picture captures a common scene in which humankind tears away nature from its roots to shape the world in people’s own interests.
This photograph by Rune Guneriussen depicts a green, natural scene that could be considered wilderness. The books placed strategically in the middle throughout the photo show the impact humans have on nature through knowledge. The centralness of humans and their impacts as seen in this image can be considered anthropocentric, as opposed to ecocentric. Books are a way for humans to communicate knowledge and information in whichever way they interpret it. The fact that humans’ knowledge is flowing through the apparently “natural” landscape shows how humans impact and alter the environment in a way that is beneficial to them.
This photograph titled “Go Your Own Road” by Erik Johansson depicts a man pulling an asphalt road through apparently untouched wilderness. This image reiterates the idea that humans truly do shape their environment and how much of a direct impact humans have on nature. The power that the man has in this photograph shows the large divide, also called the Great Split, that currently exists in our society.