BY ROBERT HARDING PITTMAN
All across the world a uniform, homogeneous model of development, inspired by Los Angeles style urban sprawl – consisting of massive freeways, parking lots, shopping malls and large¬¬-scale masterplanned communities with golf courses – is being stamped onto the earth’s topography. With this anonymous type of development come the destruction of the environment, and also a loss of culture and roots, as well as alienation. This globalized model of architecture does not respect or adapt itself to the natural or cultural environment onto which it is implanted. As we have seen in recent history, fervent overdevelopment has led to crises, not only financial, but also environmental and social, and some even say psychological. Robert Harding Pittman began working on ANONYMIZATION in L.A. well in the late 1990’s. Since then he has been traveling around the world photographing the spread of “L.A. style development” in Las Vegas, Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Dubai and South Korea. The world was in the midst of a construction boom when the project began and a decade later most cranes around the world had come to a screeching halt. The next booms and busts are once again underway and continue to be the subject of Pittman’s work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robert Harding Pittman grew up in Boston and Hamburg, the son of a German mother and American father. After taking his undergraduate and graduate degrees in environmental engineering (U.C. Berkeley), an area of concern that continues to inform his work, he received an M.F.A. in Photography and Film/Video at the California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts). His main interest is how different cultures interact with the environment and how they manage “development”.
Pittman’s traveling exhibition and photography book ANONYMIZATION (Kehrer Verlag) was nominated for the Prix Pictet and the German PhotoBook Award and has received wide media attention (Wall Street Journal, CNN, WIRED, Newsweek Japan, The Daily Beast, El País, ZDF, European Photography, Aesthetica Magazine, Domus, Eikon, LensCulture, etc.). The project has been exhibited internationally at festivals, galleries and other venues, including La Casa Encendida in Madrid, Houston FotoFest and continues to travel. His current photographic work in progress, The Bubble, is the sequel to ANONYMIZATION.
His award winning documentaries address many of the same issues treated in his photographic work. The films show the environmental, human and cultural costs of the development of our lands and the extraction of energy resources.
Pittman’s photographs and films are in public and private collections.