Terraria Gigantica: The World under Glass | Photographs by Dana Fritz
University of Mexico Press

Terraria Gigantica: The World under Glass | Photographs by Dana Fritz

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Terraria Gigantica: The World under Glass
Photographs by Dana Fritz
University of New Mexico Press, 2017
With texts by Dana Fritz, William L. Fox, and Rebecca Reider
88 pages: 44 color plates, 16 color photos, 12.5” x 10.8”

Dana Fritz was a featured artist speaker at the 2018 Filter Photo Festival.  This compelling series of images explores her work in enclosed landcapes and the control that humans exert on them.

In a new approach to environmental photography, Dana Fritz explores the world's largest enclosed landscapes: Arizona's Biosphere 2, Cornwall's Eden Project, and Nebraska's Lied Jungle and Desert Dome at the Henry Doorly Zoo. In these vivaria, plants are grown amid carefully constructed representations of the natural world to entertain and educate tourists while also supporting scientific research. Together, these architectural and engineering marvels stand as working symbols of our complex relationship with the environment.

Giant terraria require human control of temperature, humidity, irrigation, insects, weeds, and other conditions to create otherwise impossible ecosystems. While technical demands inform the design of these spaces, the juxtapositions of natural and artificial elements generate striking visual paradoxes that can go unnoticed. Here Fritz turns away from visitors' prepared sight lines, revealing alternate views that dispel the illusion of natural conditions. Inviting questions about what it means to create and contain landscapes, Terraria Gigantica inspires contemplation of our ecological future.

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