Everything you see in these photographs is MINE. My farm. My property. My nature.
I own it.
After examining food in my last project, “The Value of a Dollar,” this time around, I wanted to focus on territory. The Earth itself.
So I mined my own natural resources for a year, here on my land in Northern New Mexico, and removed the artifacts to my studio. Then, I fabricated the animals and objects into sculptures to be photographed. Products. Commodities.
This series of photographs is envisioned as the first wave of products offered by the Blaustein Mining Company, my corporate alter ego. As such, MINE is ongoing.

The images are direct representations of dual processes: my creative practice, and the capitalistic behavior through which we extract what we wish from the Earth for our own material gain.

From Lenscratch:

I live in a horse pasture at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I own the land: it’s MINE. But I share it with the animals, and things that don’t move. Every night, when I go to sleep, they have the run of the place.
It’s theirs.
Only a creature as arrogant as a human would claim ownership over his dominion, while living for such a short period of time. The rocks on my land are all much older than I am.
Artists are more
infatuated with immortality than most people. We make marks, build things, and snap photos, all in the hope that we’ll be remembered when we’re gone. Deep down, we all have a dark desire that the art will be preserved, along with our name, and that people will look at it in a hundred years or more. Because the alternative is bleak. An eternity of nothing. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.
I’m no different. I want my life’s work to mean something. I don’t want to disappear forever. But I also don’t think that my land belongs to me, any more than I belong to the land. I’m just part of this world, run by a simple rule: Survival of the fittest.
With that in mind, I decided to objectify my land, to leave my mark. Because I could. In so doing, I was able to investigate my territory, to sift through the dirt, to crunch up the snow, and then share it with others.
Once I harvested the objects, I took them to my studio to fashion temporary sculptures: Art pieces meant to satisfy my unquenchable desire to symbolize the world around me. I photographed the sculptures to memorialize them, just as we take pictures every day to remember what was there.

And yes, I killed the dead baby mouse. I killed his whole family. They were living in the trunk of my car, and they just wouldn’t leave. So I did what I had to do.

The formal qualities of these pictures drive me a little crazy (I’m obsessed with semi-straight vertical and horizontal lines being straight!), but I think this work is really funny and great and I value these statements.  Also see the interview on A Photo Editor.

Visit artist's site: jonathanblaustein.com

Found via: Lenscratch