Kevin Cooley (American, born 1975)

Driggs, 2008

Kevin Cooley, Driggs, 2008, chromogenic print, 50 x 60 in. Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School, 2008.10.

Kevin Cooley works with elemental forces of nature to question systems of knowledge as they relate to our perceptions and experience of everyday life, and to delve into our complex, evolving relationships to nature, to technology, and ultimately to each other. This photograph is from his series Light’s Edge. Cooley writes: “Desolate views of American landscapes are illuminated by eerie distress signals, possibly messages coming from above or vice-versa. Lightning shooting through the sky highlights an endangered beauty and at the same time represents a divine or extraterrestrial phenomenon. This project was shot on location in the American states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming—one of the most rugged and least populous regions of the country. Specific locations were primarily chosen for their majestic natural and scenic qualities, with an underlying element of historical significance as well. Many of the locations are important places for the local Native American tribes or are situated on, or near, the paths of early western explorers as well as pioneers—all of who[m] once struggled in this rugged landscape.”