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along a long line
along a long line
11x12", Hardcover, cloth binding
240 color plates and photographs
Interview by Carol Diehl, Essay by Lisa Corrin
Hard Press Editions in association with Hudson Hills Press
While most of us shrug off news of impending planetary doom with a cup of morning coffee and reusable bags in hand, Mike Glier, painter and art professor at Williams College (Williamstown, MA), wanted to do something bigger. He gave himself the challenge of a lifetime: to experience and capture the globe, present-tense, with his own eyes in such a way that the message would be more than obvious - it would be undeniable.
Glier chooses to follow the 70th longitude around the globe and kicks off the expedition just south of the Arctic circle in July of 2007, in the environs of Iqaluit, Baffin Island, Canada (63º45N, 68º31W). He then travels to the rainforest of Ecuador, staying in Jatun Sacha, (0º59S, 77º49W), a 2,500 hectare ecological preserve on the Napo River known for one of the world's most diverse collections of plant, animal and insect species. Glier selects subtropical environment of St. John (18º20N, 64º50W) in the U.S. Virgin Islands where the ocean and the 14,000 acre Virgin Islands National Park is designated by the United Nations as a part of the biosphere reserve network. In the late spring of 2008, the final destination is New York City (40º43, N 74º00W) where Glier tackles the urban landscape in order to "to depict the urban environment as responsive and subject to the same evolutionary forces as the rural environment." While the creation of his colorful abstract paintings are at the forefront of his expedition, Glier kept a detailed blog and photographed often.
along a long line is a limited edition book, reminiscent of an artist's travel journal, that invites the reader into the journey and the process of creation through a selection of the artist's writings, photography, paintings and sketches. Glier offers a new approach to the perception of space and boundaries --a world where we live less divided by political boundaries than one where we live in spacial divisions prescribed by scientific measurements. Glier recounts his journey to four distinct locations along a longitudinal divide with the enthusiasm of Darwin and the technical mastery of the plein air greats. Writes Glier, "the element of chance plays such a large role in the selection and manipulation of variables that evolution seems to describe my process more adequately than does my intention to make the world in my image." The result is at once a collection of breathtaking visual renderings in paint and photography of a slice of nature as it is a mindful lesson in awareness of the fragility and diversity of this planet so few of us ever get a chance to fully experience.
"Landscape has become an urgent subject. The scale of human activity is so grand that it is rapidly changing the living membrane that covers the stony globe. However, nature, itself, is not in danger from human industry. It is indifferent to change and will proceed apace, albeit in some grossly altered form. Humankind will not fare so well in a rapidly changing environment. So how can we protect and sustain the environment so that it continues to support civilization as we know it? I am overwhelmed by the complexity of inventing and implementing a plan for global environmental sustainability and my fear could turn me into a fatalist. However, the activist mantra, "think globally, act locally" as clichéd as it is, makes sense to me, since it suggests that the collective effect of many small efforts can effect large scale change. My way of addressing the current threat is to picture the vitality of the living world, to engender sensitivity toward it and to share my experience of being within it." - Mike Glier
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