/27 Machine

Edward Burtynsky

Urban Mines

"I wanted to build a branch off the main core of my work and not locate it strictly within the realm of the landscape. I wanted to find the next place.

I considered that there is primary mining – we go to the land and we blast and we take ore – that is the initial extraction. And then there is the relatively modern phenomenon of recycling – the source for the secondary level of extraction. This is the “urban mine”. I felt it had a natural conceptual connection to everything I had done." Edward Burtynsky

We've never stopped taking things from nature. Even the act of taking from the earth is natural since we are not outside of nature. What is different today is the scale. Current society is searching for a way to come to terms with that taking from the earth. Recycling is one way we can put a stop to a certain amount of damage to the earth. This material comes from and collects around urban centres in large recycling yards. These yards are like secondary mines.