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M I C A H G A N S K E i n d u s tr i a l e v o l u t i o n Photos and Text by Ben Nicholas Interview by Thomas and Ben Nicholas

S

ome people never make it to their dream destination

in

life.

Their

ideal

vacation

is

Opposite page

lived

Sleeping Dragon

vicariously through Internet photos and page

Following page

spreads in Atlas books. Even if we are lucky enough

Micah & Thomas at his L.I. City Studio

to find our feet planted at our coveted latitude/

Work in progress

longitude, chances are we’ll forget to take a deep

from the series

breath and let the moment sink in. We scramble

Tomorrowland

for devices deemed necessary to the imprinting of memories

onto

hard

drives,

protected

for

future

e n j o y m e n t . Te c h n o l o g y o f t e n re s u l t s i n e x p e r i e n t i a l

Micah tacks a gigantic new painting to his

dislocation, so predominant in our culture that we

studio wall in Long Island City. He’s very excited

could ask the question, ‘Can we base the worth of

about his new work. Past themes undeniably take

a prospective experience on its potential for pho-

form

togenic moments?’ Picture travel agents, on the

w h o m M r. G a n s k e i s i n s i d e . H e a s t u t e l y o b s e r v e s

brink of obsolescence, selling framed pictures of

our

Yo s e m i t e Va l l e y t o s u p p l e m e n t a c t u a l v a c a t i o n s t o

but this time dramatically changes the perspective

the area.

from where we view it, so much so that my 50mm

Honeymoons.com lists Hawaii, where Micah

lens is unable to fit his entire painting into one

was born and raised, as the top vacation desti-

frame no matter where I stand in the studio. We’re

nation in the United States, (tourist concentration

situated a few thousand feet in the air at a bird’s

and natural beauty exist, inevitably intertwined).

eye point of view.

The website suggests visiting the Polynesian Cul-

ture Center before or after you shop at Hilo Hat-

ries of paintings from what a location means to

tie’s,

in

these

paintings,

impermanent

they

relationship

being with

so

much

of

environments,

His commentary has evolved in this new se-

Ha-

us, to what effect we have on a location. Micah

waiian fashion and gifts. In areas constipated by

is creating a series of massive paintings about our

tourists we often see historic artifacts share equal

often

importance with gift shop knick-knackery. Not only

be rendered as a sprawling aerial view, compiled

do

which

boasts

the

largest

selection

of

disposable

view

of

nature.

Each

work

will

but

through the use of Google Maps, of an area where

also we refuse to leave empty-handed. Travelers

human-kind has had a disasterous impact. These

use the land for brief stints of pleasure and then

abandoned towns, ruined landscapes and pollut-

s a i l o f f , t h e i r r e t e n t i o n o f ‘ S u m m e r Va c a t i o n 2 0 1 0 ’

ed cities are all examples of industrialization gone

determined quantitatively by a thousand jpegs of

awry. Overlayed on these canvases will be mon-

beaches,

volcanoes,

strous shadows of what Micah calls “aspirational

and the half-dozen hot pink tank tops for friends of

technology”, the future hopes held by our society

friends.

that now loom over the wastelands.

we

buy

our

coves,

invitation

onto

mountains,

these

forests,

lands,

29


The New Heroes Issue #2