road kill

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Artist Statement

During the summer of 2011, I was driving on a rural Minnesota highway and began to notice an inordinate amount of dead deer by the side of the road. I passed carcass after carcass and began to wonder why there were so many animals on the side of the road. 

My wondering sparked questions about the specific circumstances surrounding the death of each animal and the moment of impact with each of the vehicles.  The immediate questions related exclusively to the individual event – “Was the driver not paying attention?”, “Was the animal running across the road?”, “Was the vehicle going too fast for the driver to be able to react?”, “Did the driver not notice the animal?”

As these unanswerable questions accumulated, they began to suggest a broader set of meta-questions about the interconnectedness and dependence that exists between the local ecosystem, technology and humanity. This project is a window through which to investigate the questions that arise when these meet, and what happens when the influence and interaction they exert on one another increases year after year.

Each image is created in color to emphasize the explicit, raw nature of road kill and to emphasize what many people, with the single task of arriving at “Point B,” often ignore.  Produced where the animals are found, the images position the viewer in a similar backdrop the animal experienced before death. The proximity to this context is intended to engender a sense of pathos, and subsequently for the viewer to take the experience as a possible lens through which to better understand their place and role in the increasingly complex triad of local ecology, technology and humanity.  As the viewer continues to experience the work, elements of the images are intended to transform into metaphor for their current place within culture, society and relationships, and the impact their actions have on each.