Sites Unseen: Photography by Brooke Singer opens May 2, examines the ubiquitous nature of toxic locales in the United States


For five years, Brooke Singer has been documenting Superfund, or the nation’s worst toxic-waste sites as designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The photographs in this series emphasize the extreme ordinariness of the locations (they are everywhere). Some of the places are rendered invisible through neglect. Others seem to belie their status through the development of new uses over time.

“When photographing,” Singer writes, “I search for the iconic image of a site. The challenge is how to convey something that is often hidden from view through a visual medium. After a long process of background research, interviewing stakeholders and scouting locations, I settle upon one or two perspectives to capture for each site. The images with accompanying text become an alternative history to the United States as they trace the development and confluence of industries, economies, ecologies, land use and environmental health over time.”

The Tremaine Gallery will show a series of large-format photographic prints selected from Singer’s collection of Superfund images. Previously, Singer created an online, data visualization application, Superfund365.org, featuring a different Superfund site every day of the year (September 2007 – August 2008). Singer was inspired to create this work after a 2006 meeting with Robert J. Martin, the former National Ombudsman for the EPA, who told her that all of Lower Manhattan qualified for Superfund action post-9/11.

Brooke Singer is a Brooklyn-based media artist whose work may take the form of websites, workshops, photographs, maps, installation or performance. All of her work involves public participation in pursuit of social change. She has exhibited at the Warhol Museum of Art, MoMA/PS1, Neuberger Museum of Art, Matadero Center of Contemporary Art (Madrid), Whitney Museum of Art’s Artport, among others. She is Associate Professor of New Media at S.U.N.Y. Purchase College, a fellow at Eyebeam Art & Technology Center in New York City, and co-founder of the art, technology and activist group Preemptive Media.

Please phone 860-435-4423 for information regarding Sites Unseen at The Tremaine Gallery. For more information about Brooke Singer please visit www.bsing.net.

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