Burbs from Above

Christoph Gielen has a unique perspective—literally—on the sprawl that has taken over so much of the American built landscape since the 1960s. As someone who has spent a lot of time in helicopters, looking down on the eerily perfect geometries of the nation’s suburbs, the German artist knows just how artificial, and unsustainable, these communities really are. With his Arcadia series, a portion of which we’re featuring here, Gielen hopes to spur viewers to think about the consequences of what they’re seeing (and, perhaps, where they live). “With these pictures, I am interested in exploring the intersection of art and environmental politics,” Gielen says. “I hope to trigger a reevaluation of our built environment and the methods of its development, to ask: What can be considered a viable, ecologically sound growth process?” Click here to launch a slide show of Gielen’s photographs.

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