Multimedia artists raise awareness of environmental issues through illuminated images and installations

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Kevin Cooley

Los Angeles-based photographer and artist Kevin Cooley uses light as a medium to explore our impact on the environment around us, focusing primarily on the four elements of earth, wind, water, and fire. We are raising awareness. The photo is from Cooley’s “Still Burning” series, which aims to better understand the relationship between wildfires and humans.

Kevin Cooley

The element of fire is personal for Cooley, who nearly lost his home to a fire in 2017. Photo: The Los Angeles County Bobcat Fire burns in the distance. This was one of many that made 2020 the largest and record-setting wildfire season in California history. Cooley said he aims to make these disasters “almost beautiful” because “that brings attention to them.”

Kevin Cooley

California also experienced periods of extreme drought, which sparked Cooley’s interest in water. Wave photography is one of his latest endeavors, focusing on the powerful ocean dynamics and revealing humanity’s deeper connection to Earth.

Kevin Cooley

Cooley said these photographs, which use “long exposures and artificial lighting,” are “equal parts natural wonder and constructed spectacle.”

Kevin Cooley

Cooley’s 2016 installation “Fallen Water” aimed to draw attention to the global freshwater crisis through a video compilation of Canadian waterways flowing toward Lake Ontario.

Kevin Cooley

This photo, part of Cooley’s “Unexplored Territories” series, illuminates a trail of light across a landscape that traces the path taken by Mexican explorer Juan Bautista de Anza through the Southern California desert. There is. The road now bears the explorer’s name.

Kevin Cooley

In his series “Controlled Burns,” Cooley created illuminated plumes of smoke in a controlled environment to visually express “our desire to control nature,” he said.

Kevin Cooley

“Named after prescribed fires to help prevent more destructive fires, these supervised interventions address existing associations between smoke and fire, including forms of communication, political unrest, distress, severe weather, and wildfires. It highlights sexuality,” Cooley said of the series.

Kevin Cooley

Cooley’s 2009 photo series “Light’s Edge” offers desolate American landscapes illuminated by “eerie distress signals, perhaps messages from above, or vice versa,” he said. .

Kevin Cooley

In this photo taken in South Pass, Wyoming, lightning flashes across the sky, highlighting “endangered beauty that correlates with belief in sacred and extraterrestrial phenomena.” Cooley said.

Kevin Cooley

In the series Exploded Views, Cooley explores our fascination with fire and how it affects our relationship with the environment.

Kevin Cooley

Cooley said he used different types of pyrotechnics to create the series’ explosions, with the help of experts.

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