Shannon Ebner

"I consider my project as an inspired response to a New York Times article entitled 'The Race to Alaska Before it Melts' by Timothy Egan which was, ironically, published in the Travel section earlier this year. In the article, Egan discusses the ways in which the Alaskan eco-tourist industry has been affected by climate changes, stating that over the last ten years, glaciers have been receding by nearly one thousand feet, creating a once unimaginable new attraction, the instant landscape. In an act of environmental leave taking, melting glaciers fall out of sight to reveal masses of land that quite possibly have never been seen before by anyone, least of all tourists. This concept fascinates me, as did the name of one of the glaciers from the Kenai Fjords National Park, the Exit Glacier. Exit Glacier is representative of the very tension that exists between the 'wilderness' of the High Line, in its present day form, and the city of New York, once an icon of twentieth century industrial progress. It is from this mantle of progress, however, that we find ourselves having to rethink our relationship to the inevitable byproduct of progress, that of waste. For it is almost as if the speed and momentum that gave us the elevated rail line also now takes us on a reckless path of environmental abandon, exiting through whatever wilderness remains."

1. Egan, Timothy, "The Race to Alaska Before It Melts", The New York Times, Sunday, June 26th, 2005.

Exit Glacier, 2005