Collage, Drawing, Sumi Ink, Tape Transfer
8.5 × 5.5 in
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
The idea of a “scenic overlook” emerged during the rapid development of the US National Park system in the 20th century. The act of pulling one’s car over, taking a quick snapshot of a breathtaking vista, and then driving away to the next stop is a truly American way of experiencing nature. Like dining at a fast food drive-thru, we’re able to conveniently consume a hassle-free, sanitized version of the wilderness without even leaving the car. Early marketing campaigns for national parks used colorized photographic postcards to promote a romanticized version of nature, luring visitors to a Disney-style wilderness. Scenic Overlook examines how Americans consume wilderness as tourists, how climate change is impacting the US National Parks, what will we lose as climate change slowly erases our idealized mental images of the past as we face the altered landscapes of the future. This visual journal style artist’s book features vintage postcard images, interactive flaps and cut-outs, original text written on a typewriter, photos of Mesa Verde & Joshua Tree parks by geographer Lee Lines, and quotes from James Corner’s essay “Eidetic Landscapes.