Today I’m featuring work by Samantha Friend again because as much as I enjoy her series Swatches, what she’s currently up to is a project I find even more intriguing. We Are Interested is “an honest contemporary look at America’s constantly changing relationship with nature and the various ways we try to understand the role the outside world plays in our society.” More from the artist’s statement: “By exploring how we also play a significant role in nature’s life span—though at times without intending to, or in an inevitably negative manner—what’s revealed in the process are ways in which we preserve and enhance this symbiotic relationship too. As humans, one of our primary goals is to obtain the mentality of a life well lived. Since fresh air and sunlight are intrinsic to a high quality of life, we seek to experience these necessities of enrichment while still remaining true to our desires, never forsaking the opportunity of having fun by experiencing a scheduled good time. As our vacations from the norm and surrounding environment begin to feel increasingly more forced and elaborate, we must also keep in mind that at all times we are a customer of life.”

I mentioned recently that bodies of work like this continue to show up on my radar, and I love them because they’re broad in content but specific to the image-maker, their location, their age, etc. The general questioning of the human relationship with animals and nature is my favorite kind of photography right now. You can present any artist with this concept and be met with a vast array of types of images. I think it’s important that many of Friend’s photos depict people in some way obscured, from behind or interacting with technology. Even when with others or amongst animals, each person feels strangely isolated.

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