• Landscape Lab: Shaping Terrain and Attitudes after Coal Mining
    Frank Döring

Frank Döring, Overburden conveyor bridge, 2011, Lichterfeld, Germany. All rights reserved.

Through photography and writing, this project showcases the reclamation and reuse of land in the former coal mines located in the eastern German region of Lausitz. It provides an object lesson for other mining areas where reclamation involves physical interventions as well as perceptual change. Frank Döring's photography serves a dual purpose: as a documentary medium recording physical change and as an artistic and didactic medium that helps shape perceptual attitudes and practices. Besides strong images, the apprehension of landscape transformations requires expository and explanatory texts. Landscape Lab combines text and images in a website and a (future) exhibition that complement each other. The website offers universal access, flexibility in the way it presents the material, and participates in a global conversation; the exhibition maximizes visual impact locally. These presentations will benefit professionals, researchers, and a lay audience concerned with post-industrial landscapes.

Born in and raised near Frankfurt, Germany, Frank Döring received his postsecondary education in Germany (Freiburg and Berlin, MA) and in the United States (Princeton University, PhD). He subsequently worked for four years as a cognitive science researcher at the École Polytechnique in Paris, France, then for five years as a philosophy professor at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Cincinnati. He became seriously engaged in photography during his time in Cincinnati and, through his photography, was able to reach a wider and more diverse audience than through teaching and research in probabilistic epistemology. Döring then quit the academy and became a freelance photographer. His main subjects are landscape (urban as well as rural), architecture, and people.