PHOTOGRAPHS

Liquid Magnet

Oceanology

Vulkan ->

hawaii

iceland

montserrat

lava crystals

Sugar Pepper

Hubbub

Paleo

INFORMATION

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BIO

Below are notes on the different projects that I have been working on.

Liquid Magnet-

I first came across ferrofluid in 2007 when I saw this MIT video that was posted online. Ferrofluid is a highly magnetized liquid composed of nanoscale ferromagnetic particles suspended in a carrier fluid. It has the ability to change shape when in the presence of a magnetic field. I have been making drawings with ferrofluid on large sheets of film and I am mesmerized by its ability to mutate into different configurations that seem both cellular and celestial.

Along with the ferrofluid photograms, I have been taking photographs in Tokyo with an 8x10" camera that has been masked on the inside. This set up allows for a photo collage of two different exposures on the same sheet of film, and involves some improvisation and free association. These disjointed images have made me think about what the Russian literary theorist Viktor Shklovsky wrote in Art as Technique-

"The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects 'unfamiliar', to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important."

Oceanology-

In 2011 I began experimenting with large-format 4x5" and 8x10" cameras in specially constructed waterproof housings and have been using them to document coral reef environments.

Governed in part by chance, this process-driven work is accomplished by taking one image per dive, and in most cases superimposing multiple exposures on a sheet of film during each trip to the bottom. In an attempt to reflect the complexity of the marine environment, I have started to experiment with sandwiching together positive and negative images from different dives. Here I have drawn inspiration from the montages of the early 20th-century German photographer Heinz Hajek-Halke, who created kinetic compositions by marrying positive to negative forms.

My father studied coral reefs at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, and this new series grew out of helping him in the field as he approached retirement. The reef ecosystem has collapsed in the span of his career and the scope of this disaster is particularly acute to those who have worked in this discipline for so long.

Vulkan-

This is a long running project and grew out of multiple visits to different volcanic environments. The dynamic nature of these landscapes can easily be experienced through return trips and it is one of the few places where instead of the human species altering the planet, the planet is altering itself.

Volcanoes are always reminders of forces beyond our control, but one of my main interests with these locations has been searching out found sculptures. I am particularly intrigued by mimetoliths, a form of pareidolia, which is the psychological phenomenon where the mind perceives faces and anthropomorphic shapes in rocks and other inanimate objects.

Sugar Pepper-

My grandparents moved from Scotland to the Caribbean island of Barbados in 1939 and many of my relatives still reside there. One of my cousins runs a small family farm in the interior of the island and I have had the opportunity to document it over the years. The farm has become a laboratory for my photographic output. I have found myself drawn to the plant life on the property, and the contrast between the cultivated plants and the wild ones that grow in the gullies around the fields.

The island still has an active sugar industry which faces problems in the global market. The last working sugar factory is Andrews Sugar Factory, a antiquated place full of pipes and gears for crushing the cane. The cane left over from the grinding process is called "bagasse" and is burnt in large furnaces which run the steam powered engines in the factory.

Hubbub-

A log of spontaneous photographic studies and drawings made around my home and on the road.

Paleo-

Paleo is a body of older work that involved the documentation of museum spaces with a focus of meterorites and dinosaur fossils. These are charged objects and are reminders of what geologists call "deep time".