Edward Burtynksy’s photographs offer a sense of the sublime — that feeling you get when standing at the top of a mountain that makes you realize how small you are relative to the rest of the world. But his grand photographs are also terrifying, because, upon closer inspection, they reveal barren landscapes, ravaged by the extraction of natural resources. Many of the renowned photographer’s large-format works will be on view at the David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way, Berkeley) for its annual Art/Act exhibition, which honors one artist doing outstanding work in the intersection of art and activism. Burtynsky’s show will primarily highlight his series Water, which features once rich water sources that have dried up into shriveled landscapes with magnificent topographical patterns. In the midst of California’s detrimental drought, the photographs from all over the world both hit home and speak to the dangers that our ecosystem faces worldwide. The show opens on September 18, with a free reception from 7–9 p.m. during which the artist will give a public lecture about his work.
After Oakland failed for a decade to protect the public and firefighters from hazardous materials, the state stripped the city of these duties. And now investigators are looking into illegal shipments of toxic waste and the misuse of public funds.