Johnson (b. 1974, Seattle) photographs the natural environment in ways that are intensely specific to the moment and place he is capturing and at the same time open to interpretation. He has photographed sites of industries that are based on natural resources, such as mining and timber operations, in the American West, and has explored the streets of West Oakland, California, capturing the beauty in a place both transitional and steeped in history.
In his project for the ICA, Johnson adds an additional sensory element— sound—to his work, joining images shot in the Peruvian Amazon using five- to seven-minute exposures with a stereo audio recording made at the same location and time as the photograph. The resulting works are presented as large-scale photographic light boxes that invite viewers to make connections between sound and sight in this beautiful and fragile location. Drawing on his talents as a musician, he incorporates sound to foster a heightened perception
of what lies beyond the photographic image.
Johnson received a BFA from the University of Washington in 1997 and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2003. He is Associate Professor of Photography at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.