In the series, Growing Light, I draw from both biological sciences and humanities to explore the photographic qualities of bioluminescent organisms. Through scientific experiments which test light output during the lifecycle of the organism, I have developed accurate exposure rates for a variety of photographic films and paper. One example from this series, Watershed Triptych, involves illuminating watershed maps from the United States Geological Survey Hydromap project with the bioluminescent glow of organisms that cause harmful, red tide algal blooms. These blooms occur when excessive nutrients from factory farming are spilled into the waterways through CAFO overflows and severe weather events. This work, and others in the series, provoke discussions about the technical possibilities of bioluminescent organisms as photographic medium as well as a larger dialogues about climate change, stewardship, and the interconnectedness of life on our planet. In 2019, I was invited to give a talk about this ground breaking work at Trinity College Dublin’s Art and The Anthropocene conference.
*Made possible in part by a Research Excellence Grant from Bradley University.