For the past decade, the city of Maple Grove, Minnesota has invested heavily in creating a thriving retail center in a corner of the city that has been used for sand and gravel strip mining operations. The landscape there is one of intent on a vast scale. On one side of the road you will see endless mountains of dirt, rock and sand being carved out of the earth. Turn your head to the other side and you see the shopping centers, multiplexes and high-density housing that are gradually consuming the entire area.
My project documents this uneasy transition of raw land into a blacktopped jungle. I have spent most of my time exploring the areas in this development that are in the midst of being dug up and flattened in preparation for construction. This is a raw, almost monochromatic landscape that seems to change day by day at the hands of the machinery that is slowly disemboweling it. A hike through this environment leaves one with a gut feeling of the physical forces being imposed to shape it to the needs of commerce. It is this sense of quiet violence and beauty, and my emotional reaction to it that is at the core of my photographs.
On a political level, I am not taking a dogmatic approach to this subject. Rather than condemning urban sprawl, I am more interested in inspiring awareness and raising questions that a development of this magnitude raises.