Follow Me on Pinterest
Follow Me on Tumblr


Gowanus Canal by William Miller

-

"It wasn’t so long ago that educated people thought the earth was so vast that no human activity could have a significant impact on it. They buried garbage in the ground and dumped waste in the seas and waterways the way war criminals bury their dead and assume the earth will hide their horrible crimes.

Brooklyn’s Gowanus canal is one of America’s most polluted waterways. More than a century of unfettered industrial abuse was followed by decades of bungled attempts to clean it up. It is significantly cleaner than it was 30 years ago but it’s contaminated waters hold the evidence of it’s history.

To look into the Gowanus canal is to gaze into the eyes of a corpse. It is murky and clouded over but if you look closely you can see life and light reflected in the mercury, feces and coal tar that drift in the canal like malevolent clouds. This uncomfortable cohabitation is the foundation of a photographic study of the strangely beautiful horror that the canal hosts. This is not a story about the canal’s death and rebirth. I am not interested in making this a documentary about the Gowanus canal but rather a documentation of the evidence of industrial crimes that took place there over 150 years."


-

Words and images: Courtesy of William Miller