Better or Equal Use

Better or Equal Use is a series of photographs made from coal dust that depict former mining sites redeveloped under the Surface-Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 – so far including detention facilities, strip malls and golf courses. This congressional act mandates that after mining is compete, companies reinstate the façade of the mountain or redevelop the site for “ equal or better public or economic use,” directly weighing the value of a mountain and surrounding communities against other industrial and commercial functions.