Ghost Ecologies (initial project / future book coming soon)

Ghost Ecologies features haunting photographs of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sands accompanied by data-rich mappings and speculative photomontage developed through extensive research. This effort reveals and unpacks the tangible realities as well as hidden complexities of human, physical, economic, political, and ecological systems in one of the world’s largest mining sites.

Working from a global to a microscopic level, landscape architect and photographer Jonathan Knight has produced an unprecedented, multi-layered document presented through an original methodology with beautiful and shocking information. Ghost Ecologies offers in-depth analysis and on-the-ground realities of what happens when largely-unregulated environmental degradation occurs deep in the heart of the boreal forest in Northern Canada.

More critically, the project offers an extensively researched guide to how people around the planet rely on the mining industry and how it has permeated every facet of our modern life. What is revealed in the book is that the Athabasca oil sands—although complicated by its own history and particulars—may well be an appropriate metaphor for the global impact that the mining industry has on the human and natural landscapes. This degradation is not hopeless however as the text concludes with evocative visuals showcasing that—if we take action now—a more productive and more hopeful future await the oil sands and similar places around the world, for the improvement of all human and natural life across our planet.
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