Catalyst Conversations - This Land: Laura McPhee and Taylor Perron

Renowned photographer Laura McPhee and MIT geologist Taylor Perron will share their concern for the American landscape through their respective projects and will discuss how they each bring awareness to the evolution of land and landscape. McPhees images invite contemplation about the unintended consequences of humanitys attempts to control and manage nature and ask how we use the earth and to what ends. Perron uses fieldwork, remote imaging techniques and computer simulations to discover how landscapes change through time. Many questions arise: How do scientists use images to evaluate and understand issues facing the environment? How do these same issues affect the choices made by artists like McPhee? How do both science and art bring awareness to the public, an awareness we need now more than ever?

Laura McPhee is noted for her stunning large-scale landscapes and portraits of the people who live and work in them. She is currently working in the desert west of the United States where she is chronicling visual stories about time, both geologic and human.

Taylor Perron is Associate Professor of Geology and Chair of the Program in Geology, Geochemistry and Geobiology at MIT. He studies how landscapes form and evolve on Earth and other planets, at scales ranging from ripples in sand to oceans on Mars.