Density and Distance
This work is an investigation into the near and the far, exploring scales of time, mass and matter via the photographic image.
In recent years, I have harvested Nicotiana seeds from my garden in late October, carefully clipping the dried seedpods and emptying the contents into a large stainless steel bowl. They were tiny, even smaller than the poppy seeds used in baking. After several rounds of this process, I had amassed enough of these miniscule spheres to fill a 4-ounce glass jar, perhaps 10,000 individual seeds all told.
I then hand-sifted the seeds onto white museum board, sometimes employing the use of simple, hand-cut stencils, to create cosmological analogies: black holes, nebulae, latent energy, encoded life, infinite births awaiting — starstuff (to borrow from Carl Sagan) as seedstuff. With the grayscale of the originals inverted, I printed these photographed constructions as negative images at 24x36 inches, in an effort to provide an immersive experience appropriate to the content of the work. At this size, the seeds were represented photographically at a 1:1 scale.
Looking up at an unpolluted night sky, it is easy to become lost amidst the spangle of endless stars, ungrounded and adrift. By making visual analogies of the celestial body on a scale more easily comprehensible, my hope is that these images might momentarily reframe our understanding of time and place and materiality, opening a little window into a very big universe.
Seeds that were Stars: Finding a Galaxy, Foreshortened View
Seeds that were Stars: Imagining the Oort Cloud
Seeds that were Stars: Constructing a Black Hole
All images copyright 2018.