Aperture magazine was founded in 1952 by a small circle of photographers to foster the development and appreciation of the photographic medium, as well as communicate with “serious photographers and creative people everywhere, whether professional, amateur, or student.” Today the magazine maintains the founders’ spirit, presenting a diversity of historical work, photojournalism and portfolios by emerging photographers, thematic articles, as well as interviews with important figures at work today. Aperture has published the work of many iconic and emerging artists and showcased leading writers and curators.
This spring, Aperture’s “Earth” issue considers the natural world in the age of climate change, extreme weather, and dramatically politicized landscapes. For the issue, Aperture commissioned Carolyn Drake to document the aftermath of recent wildfires in Northern California, which destroyed communities and displaced thousands. “It is the Anthropocene,” Pulitzer Prize–winning author William Finnegan writes of Drake’s austere images, referring to our geological age defined by human activity. “We must look to our own agency.”
“Earth” features artists engaged with visualizing the politics and poetics of the environment, from David Benjamin Sherry’s lush, color-washed images of US national parks reduced in size by the current Trump Administration to Lieko Shiga’s mysterious chronicle of Japan in the traumatic years following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. With planetary life in peril, the environment remains a source of visual discovery—and a site of urgent action.