In this body of work, I explored a new material, kiln fused glass. Building on my previous use of lighting gels as overlays for photographs, with Moab it is the material echoes of glass—its transparency—as well as its physical fragility that appealed to me. In turning my attention to energy vortices in southeast Utah’s Upheaval Dome, I foregrounded the impact of landscape on the histories of both photography and in-person viewing on human experience in its myriad personal, historic, and cosmic dimensions.
Often the result of cataclysmic cosmic events, impact craters signify something at once violent and poetic, visually signaling trauma. According to American astronomer, cosmologist and astrophysicist Carl Sagan, impact craters are visible marks, or scars, on the face of the earth that can last for billions of years. People often hide their own personal trauma, making it invisible underneath the surface of their own memories and experiences. I found it to be a compelling idea to think about how our planet, instead, exposes its wounds and trauma, there for all to see and experience. I also couldn’t help but think of the “meteor” that hit our White House just weeks before embarking on this work, contemplating how we’ve all been communally traumatized, transformed by events seemingly beyond our control.
Installation photos by Jeff McLane
In the late 1980’s, a woman known as Star visited several locations in and around Banff, Canada on a vision quest in search of the Archangel Mikael. During the 1980s & '90s, Star writes that she was guided to the Sacred Sites of the Rockies, and was prompted to share her revelations in the form of a website. I discovered Star’s quest during an online search and decided to follow in her path. I visited the 9 places she was led to in her quest and made photographs in each location. Using photography and collage, this work is grounded on the site visits. The photographs, collaged with color gels and white tape, serve as a filter to view the documented landscapes. Through my own interpretation they mimic the energetic dimension that is present in the locations alluding to that which can’t be seen. The colored gel layers point toward limitations in our perception and propose what might exist beyond our immediate understanding of being present in a physical location.
An Infinite Regress is a sequence of infinitely cascading propositions whose truth depends
on the preceding proposition. A common example in optics might be two mirrors facing
one another, or in the case of consciousness, the formation of a series of connected
“inner observers.” In the cosmological sense, an Infinite Regress traces time backwards to
the Big Bang, whose origin is currently undeterminable. This two person exhibition with Ian
James and I features a video work from us both and a new site-specific collaborative sculpture.
photographs by Jeff McLane
We are always searching, never arriving.
Photography acts as a source of evidence – of truth telling, or truth making. But if this is so, if photography authenticates, then can it show us the real even if that lies outside of our field of perception? My interest is not so much in the answer to this, as in the opening of possibility. In the search for the real, the truth, how do we portray it and how do we present experience in a visual way? This work was made around locations that are known to be energy vortices: Sedona, Mount Shasta, Joshua Tree and the Oregon Vortex.