About Poetics of Science Collection
The Poetics of Science – 1986
All prints are 16 x 20 gelatin silver prints from 4 x 5 negatives
The camera in this project is the vehicle for my exploration into the unknown territory of the science site, the laboratory and the natural history collection. I first sought sites that are both commonplace as well as extraordinary. The landscapes, with their scientific or agricultural components, are puzzling. The enigmatic qualities come from the lack of context and ignorance of the purpose of the site manipulations. Often, the sites reminded me of contemporary environmental and performance art installation.
From the landscape, I moved into the laboratory in search of strong visual elements. As an artist, untrained in biology, I looked intuitively at the collections of specimens, often finding unusual juxtapositions. The specimens that most fascinated me were not the most exotic.
These pictures comment on the very act of collecting and curating. While preserving, coding, and explicating biological phenomena, these actions simultaneously kill, distort, and decontextualize nature.