About A Crack in the World

A Crack in the World is located on five acres in Mariposa, California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I combine my human vision with the optical limitations I place on the camera, creating a “camera-being” with a different plane of focus that acts as a species with its own visual perception. My intention is to offer a conduit to an expanded natural world through these sensory artifacts to allow the viewer to see in a different way that is not a human-centered perspective of the universe, to engender empathy for the other biological beings on the planet.

In creating my images, I imagine peering through and stepping into the depth of the layers, into other dimensions via “a crack in the world.” In this world, the sentience of all living entities and our shared consciousness jumps out at me. Orbs pop, and streaks of light dance through the dimensions of land and sky. Perception shifts as the small becomes outsize and the distant alive. I liken the blur in the images to sub-atomic particles made visible, representing the possibilities in what is unimagined, often overlooked, underlying, and even undetected by our five human senses.

We have ended a five-year drought and approximately 50% of the trees in Mariposa have died in the past few years. Government scientists inform us that we will ultimately lose 90 percent of our mature trees. I have made impressions of the trees and other plant life throughout the seasons, starting when I first visited this land around the beginning of the drought. Thus the series that began as a fine art project has also become a documentary work.

We are on the precipice of a possible sixth extinction of life on earth. I believe that a lack of empathy for the other – people, plants and animals – is in large part the cause of it. With global warming and nuclear war looming, we need to find solutions for saving the planet. Empathy for each other and the natural world, rather than dominance and greed, could be the imperative first step.

All images were created in camera and processed only with the usual color and curves adjustments in Photoshop.


The series By Fire examines the human experiences of tragedy or immense difficulty that have often been described as a trial by fire. If we move through the metaphorical fire with awareness, we may find that facing mortality creates expansion and renewed life. In At the Museum, the images are blurred – stripped of narrative and rich in color, shape, light and energy. They contemplate the ephemeral nature of life and the perseverance of humanity. In all three bodies of work, the images are simultaneously less and more than their original subject matter and also transcend it.

Barbara Kyne