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Forests

Images from a trip to Blanton Forest in Southeastern Kentucky, alleged to be the “largest old growth forest in the Commonwealth.”

From Old Growth in the East:

Within a preserve that in mid-2000 totaled 3055 acres, 2239 acres of little disturbed forest, encompassing an entire side of Pine Mountain. Communities include hemlock-mixed mesophytic, oak-pine, Appalachian oak (White Oak and Chestnut Oak most common but other species contributing), mountain bogs, cliffs, rock overhangs, and mountain streams. Pitch Pine dominates some areas; Shortleaf Pine and Virginia Pine are also present. The occurrence of pines is coincident with the driest forest at the summit. American Chestnut was once an important component but it all died in the 1930s and 1940s from blight. Traces of an old homestead can be seen at the mountain’s base, one part of the forest apparently underwent limited logging, cattle may have grazed a section, and someone tried to cut an off-road vehicle trail in a corner of the tract; but these activities did little noticeable damage.

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Friday, March 9th, 6 – 8 PM @ Marfa Book Company

Exhibition: Marfa artist and photographer Daniel Chamberlin will be presenting new works in his “Ecstatic Camouflage” series for a brief, three day show that coincides with Tonalism, an all night ambient film and music event presented by dublab and El Cosmico.  (Tonalism features a new, temporary installation by Adam Bork, live projections by CINEMARFA, and music by Sun Araw and J D Emmanuel, and more.)

The Marfa Book Company will host an exhibition of new works by Marfa-based artist Daniel Chamberlin entitled “Ecstatic Camouflage” this weekend, March 9 – 11, with an opening for the artist on Friday, March 9th from 6 – 8 pm.

According to the artist, “Ecstatic Camouflage is an explicitly psychedelic post-landscape photography.”  In deed, these photographs make a break with tradition and do not call to mind the work of Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter, Robert Glenn Ketchum, or Richard Misrach, though, ostensibly, they share the same subject.  The break may at first seem technical, a consequence of new technologies for manipulating images, but on further study, it becomes evident that it’s something else.  For Chamberlin, that word is psychedelic or shamanistic.

“It is a post-landscape photography that explodes anthropocentric notions of perspective by way of repetition and rotation, an organic visual drone.  It is an attempt at revealing my communion with the so-called “plant mind” of shamanistic lore.”

Several of the photographs in “Ecstatic Camouflage” were taken locally, in the Chisos Basin, and the Davis Mountains.  Viewers may not immediately recognize these places however, and not just because the artist avoids iconic, monumental treatments for his subjects. In fact, the photographs resemble mandalas or yantras rather than icons or monuments.  Curiously, his technique, involving minimal post-camera manipulation, does not hide the changes he makes, but demonstrates them openly. In the kaleidoscopic image that results from his repetitions and rotations, horizon lines vanish; trees and flowers, divide or merge; water appears throughout the surface; and the sky turns inward.

For his exhibition at the Marfa Book Company, Chamberlin chose ten pieces from an archive of hundreds of raw photographs taken in the Southwestern and South Central United States.  The pieces selected are ink jet prints on canvas and range in size from three by four, to four by five feet in dimension.

Daniel Chamberlin was born in Indiana, and lived for twelve years in Los Angeles before moving to Marfa.  He was a contributing editor to Arthur Magazine. He is a nationally registered EMT and currently works for Marfa EMS.

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Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine, aka Western Yellow Pine

Pinus ponderosa

Circumference: 134 inches

Height: 110 feet

Crown spread: 46 feet

This Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine located in the Nature Conservancy’s Davis Mountains Preserve of Far West Texas is believed to be the largest known example of its kind left standing in the Lone Star state. It was added to the Texas Big Tree Registry in 2006.

More Into the Green in Texas:

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