War of the Worlds

Hyperreality is characterized by the inability to consciously distinguish reality from simulation. Because of our current industrialized culture and technical advancements, we find ourselves living in a hyperreal society. We have lost our grasp on Reality – not in the tactile sense, but the true and original state of existence.

I am photographing places where we are removed from the original but perhaps are unaware of it. Sometimes we are so far removed that we mistake the hyperreal for Reality itself. One of the most important shifts in our culture has been the ability to simulate to the point of not being able to distinguish between Real and fake and in some instances, representations have come to supersede that which they are representing.

This project is not only about how we’ve begun to accept the hyperreal as Reality, but also about how we strive to make “real” object and experiences more Real and enjoyable. More and more, our daily lives are constructed to maximize satisfaction and we have reached a point in time where there is more simulation than not. Representations were once at war with their originals, but no longer. Now, we are living in the aftermath of that battle.
Desert mural from the Museum of Science, Boston, Massachusetts. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Wild Desert - Boston, MA.

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Cut blue spruce Christmas tree on top of a vintage blue station wagon at Dzen's Christmas Tree Farm in South Windsor, Connecticut. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Blue Spruce - South Windsor, CT.

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The inside of a butterfly habitat showing trees growing indoors at the Franklin Park Zoo in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Butterfly Habitat - Jamaica Plain, MA.

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Educational bird mural with the Black Turnstone highlighted from the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala) - Boston, MA.

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The outside of the tropical rainforest exhibit at the Franklin Park Zoo in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Tropical Rainorest - Jamaica Plain, MA.

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Wildflowers and a blue sky seen at a scenic overlook in Caterpillar Hill, Maine. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Scenic Overlook - Caterpillar Hill, ME.

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Educational snowshoe hare diorama from the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts. Photograph by Kelly Burgess

Snowshoe Hare - Boston, MA.

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Solar panels nestled in the trees of the Holbrook Island Sanctuary in Maine. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Solar Power - Holbrook Island Sanctuary, ME.

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Sod being farmed in Ledyard, Connecticut. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Sod Farm - Ledyard, CT.

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Dead trees in the conservation land of Holbrook Island State Park in Maine. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Nature Preserve - Holbrook Island State Park, ME.

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Kiki the gorilla in her habitat with children looking through the glass at the Franklin Park Zoo in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Kiki - Jamaica Plain, MA.

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A bird house in a yard in Brooksville, Maine. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Bird House - Brooksville, ME.

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A diorama of fake fall foliage at the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Peak Fall Foliage - Boston, MA.

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A view of Foxwoods Resort and Casino as seem from a corn field within the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Ledyard, Connecticut. Photograph by Kelly Burgess.

Foxwoods Resort Casino (Mashantucket Pequot Reservation) - Ledyard, CT.

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Motif #1 - a red fishing shack on the water in Rockport, Massachusetts, which was named The World's Most Beautiful Seaport Town. Photograph by Kelly Burgess

Motif #1 (The World's Most Beautiful Seaport Town) - Rockport, MA.

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