INSIDE THE BELLY ...
“Inside the Belly of the Cosmic Whale and other Cosmic Explorations” speaks to early scientific astronomical photography. Here the artist and scientist meet. Both deal with visual material. However, one requires extraordinary investment in science and engineering; the other explores the mad-richness of inner head-space. I escape reality, I make reality.
The project is a creative response to astronomical explorations, space photography, and early scientific renditions of space. Examining historical and contemporary images of planets and other cosmic features, I note the language of astronomy and science; such as the alphanumeric designations, the mythological proper names of the bright stars, and the baffling descriptions of the image-content. Formally, I am interested in the indexical information: the registration marks, the handwritten annotations, the image-joinery, and the overabundance of arrows.
My intent is to make observations about scientific images and scientific annotations and to create delightful confusion through wit. The project empowers imagination in conjunction with science. It is an embrace of space exploration and a warmer embrace of imaginary-explorations.
The project forms my response to the language of astronomy. In making these images, I embrace the complicated relationship between photography and reality. The photographs are made using traditional silver-gelatin processes to create an association with the early historical photographs. I make use of rudimentary tools, analogue processes, and I manipulate the images with knife, pen, dye, joins, and reversals.