The White Columns Curated Artist Registry is an online catalog of digital images documenting the work of artists who are not affiliated with a commercial gallery in New York City. Each submission is reviewed by our curatorial staff; in order to be considered for the registry, one must submit work digitally via this website.
Every revolution in scientific knowledge has deeply affected the confidence of previous generations and redefined future generations. The problems of time, space and matter are interrogated now by the concepts of dark energy and matter. The theoretical discovery of the absence of form as in hypothetical dark matter and energy will deeply affect how the universe is perceived by scientists and artists. Never before has the role of the scientist been so interconnected with the role of the artist—making visible what is profoundly imperceptible.
When I began representing the land in 1989, my artwork was initially influenced by NASA space photography—specifically the grid photographs of the surface of Mars. Since then I have explored human wilderness tracking along the Texas/Mexico border, accompanied archeologists in the field, and viewed cosmological landscapes of astrophysicists at McDonald Observatory in order to understand the current lenses of perception.
While learning elementary tracking techniques in 2004, I began to consider a number of factors that challenged the models of figure-ground relationships I was taught as an artist: the absence of clearly distinguishing separations of foreground to background, the presence of subtle disturbances on the ground, the positioning of the perceiving body relative to the object, and the possibility of attempted concealment and camouflage. As I soon discovered, artistic systems of pictorial representation, with their highly formalized conventions of perspective and figure-ground order, were just as technical, indeed, just as fabricated, as the most artificial mechanical prostheses. It seems that the age-old idea of the painting as a window is entirely true––only one must add the caveat that these windows do not open onto reality, but onto a highly pictorialized and artificial universe. In order to track on the land (or in the sky) one inhabits a highly conceptual landscape of movement and change.
Now I turn toward cosmological landscapes and the hypothetical dark matter that cannot be detected but makes up an estimated 84.5% of the universe. This theory of an imperceptible landscape that is both sociopolitical and technovisual by nature reaches farther and deeper than either technology’s vast edifice or the human imagination. It values the visual experience above all.