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Visions of Passage: Photographers, Writers, and The American Scene
The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA, March 24-June 2, 2002
Berlin, Germany 2003

"An exhibition of sweeping proportions, brings together 35 photographers and 15 writers who are among the finest in their fields to present unique artistic interpretations of American culture at the turn of the Millennium....Works were commissioned from photographers and writers over a five year period which explore cultural issues ...."- Museum of Photographic Arts

Navajo Power Plant
Navajo Power Plant (Coal) Arizona, 1999 Platinum print

Joan Myers photographed Western Power for the exhibit and book.

"As we enter a new millennium, unlimited power appears to be an inalienable right. After all, without it we would not have water, lighting, heating, transportation of consumer goods. Our communication system depends upon it. Out entertainment requires it. Medical care demands it. This dependency is a recent phenomenon in human culture. Yet, we take power generation for granted and pay little attention to how it is generated and distributed. Even less do we consider how we are to sustain our ever-growing need for more and more energy.

In earlier centuries, power came from above. We prayed to the heavens for good health and the strength to make use of the muscle power we possessed. Now power comes from below. We pay others to extract non-renewable resources and to generate electricity. The power plant has become a necessary mediator between out desires and their realization, much as the cathedral was the intermediary between god and man in the Middle Ages.

What are the consequences for future generations of obtaining most of our energy from non-renewable resources? What options do we have to meet the growing need for power worldwide? As I traveled around the American West and Hawaii, I visited generating plants fueled by uranium, oil or gas, coal, water, solar, wind and geothermal energy. The discrepancy is stark between the considerable funding for extracted resources such as coal, oil and gas or uranium and the minimal attention given to renewable resources.

With my camera, I wanted to make visible the power that has changed our world forever. If we believe that the technology we depend on should be available to future millennia, we need to consider well how we are to obtain the energy necessary to sustain it." -Joan Myers

Photographers, Writers and the American Scene,
available from bookstores and the publisher Arena Editions