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Picture Show: Caleb Charland Turns Fruit into Light

Picture Show: Caleb Charland Turns Fruit into Light

Orange Battery 2012

Photographer Caleb Charland’s artistic practice often involves hijacking the landscape with man-made components that comment on our relationship to the natural world. He's concerned with how things naturally occur, and attempts to replicate them sculpturally and photographically. Despite the fantastical aesthetic of Caleb’s photographs, he rarely uses Photoshop, or manipulates the images after he shoots them.

For Caleb, “the utter simplicity of this electrical phenomenon is endlessly fascinating…The work speaks to a common curiosity we all have for how the world works as well as a global concern for the future of Earth’s energy sources…” His recent body of work, Back To Light harnesses the energy of mundane objects, often food, to explore an innocent exploration of the extraordinary. In his pictures, which range from formally shot landscapes to Dutch inspired still-lifes; fruit, juices, and various plants are wired to light bulbs and household lamps powering them. Many of the images, specifically the still-lifes, pay close attention to the unplugged wires from the lamps, subtly emphasizing the natural power. The project draws from grade school science-class experiment in which a potato is used to power a light bulb.

As the world grows increasingly concerned about the sustainability of energy resources, Caleb’s work offers a refreshingly playful perspective on food as a source of power.

His images have inspired our next photographic Field Work assignment: Photograph the food that gives you the most power. To fulfill this Field Work assignment, tweet the photo to us @GOOD with the hashtag #Fieldwork.

Apple Trees and LEDs 2011

Vinegar Batteries With Glassware and Shelf 2013

Garage With Alternative Batteries 2011

Mellon Battery With Skull 2013

Potato Power, LaJoie Growers LLC, Van Buren, Maine 2012

Fruit Battery Still Life (Citrus) 2012

Vinegar Battery 2011

Energy From a Single Potato 2012

Ring of Apples with LED 2013

This month, we're challenging the GOOD community to host a dinner party and cook a meal that contains fewer ingredients than the number of people on the guest list. Throughout March, we'll share ideas and resources for being more conscious about our food and food systems. Join the conversation at and on Twitter at #chewonit.

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