This is entry #26 in our 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.
Philosopher: Jennifer Nagel (Toronto)
Artwork: Edward Burtynsky, Breezewood (2008)
Words: Here we are at the edge of town, near the ramp onto the Turnpike. Every sign is there to catch your eye, but you have seen all these brands so many times they have become completely invisible. I feel a strong sense of sparkling detail and emptiness at the same time. This is part of a series which explores the terrifying beauty of oil extraction, refinement, transportation, motor culture, and industrial decay. What baffles me about Burtynsky is how he manages not to come across as judgmental.