Transcendental Concord (2018, Radius Books) is a visual interpretation of transcendentalism—a literary, philosophical, and social movement that developed from a community in Concord, Massachusetts. Just prior to the Civil War, in the face of widespread industrialization, the transcendentalists pioneered models of civil disobedience, communal living, education reform, and environmental conservation. This ideology is relevant in the present moment. However, nineteenth-century vernacular and lack of visual interpretation often distance contemporary readers from the transcendentalists' prescient texts.
Transcendental Concord combines photographs I made of Concord landscapes with excerpts of texts by the transcendentalists in order to make their ideals more accessible and visual. In order to complete this project, I read the books, journals, and letters of prominent transcendentalists. I also visited several archives in New England to study photographs of Concord landscapes from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This research allowed me to identify specific locations that were important to the transcendentalists to photograph. The time I spent in the archives also allowed me to analyze how Concord was visually represented in the past, which ultimately inspired my experimental approach.