Humboldt Journal of Social Relations


Eirik Johnson’s Sawdust Mountain portfolio of photographs explores the past, present, and possible futures of the rural Pacific Northwest including the State of Jefferson. Jefferson has been dependent on and shaped culturally and economically by logging and fishing, but these extractive industries have been transformed by technology and are declining in importance. Johnson’s photographs portray specific instances of these shifts and the uncertainties and ambiguities of the present. His photographs suggest three possible directions for Jefferson’s future. One is continued resource extraction, modified to suit contemporary attitudes and values; a second is suburbanization; and a third involves a relative retreat, leaving the area remote, and allowing nature to regrow. Johnson’s photographs allow us to experience visually the changes in and possibilities for Jefferson.