When I began representing the land in 1989, my artwork was initially influenced by NASA space photography—specifically the grid photographs of the surface of Mars. After spending decades exploring the surface of the earth through the lenses of archeologists uncovering artifacts in the desert, professional trackers searching for sign along ancient corridors throughout Far West Texas, botanists identifying what is left of our wilderness and environmentalists saving what is left, I turned again to outer space.
At the beginning of every project I research multiple viewpoints before I dive into the messy unpredictable mysteries that open up during conversations, reading, observations, and art making. I am currently reading books written by NASA scientists, military specialists and researchers about habitable planets (exoplanets), UFOs, and possible alien life forms. The Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF), a new astronomical spectrograph, at McDonald Observatory near my studio in Marfa, TX, is a source of information and inspiration. My inquiry began years ago when I interviewed astronomers and galactic archeologists involved with the HETDEX project at McDonald Observatory.*
I am among the group of artists who are probing overlapping relationships between art, archeology, astrophysics, and galactic archeology. In other words, I am interested in how probing down into the earth and out into outer space affects our perception. While technology strives to exist at the edge of what can be modeled and observed, I believe it is the role of the artist to conceptualize new edges, to explore unanswerable questions and to be comfortable with mystery. Scientists identify the big questions and attempt to answer them but limiting culture to what can be seen, experienced and proven diminishes the strength and vitality of the human condition and imagination.
We are in the midst of a radical restructuring of the experiences of awe, wonder and curiosity. With new urgency caused by the accelerated destruction of the planet I turn to exoplanets, UFO’s, aliens, and other strange medicines in my artwork as my life adjusts to continual disorientation, recalculation and uneasy utopias.
* HEDTEX is a project that uses approximately 150 spectrographs to quantify the properties of Dark Energy and to measure the distance between more than a million galaxies during different epochs. It will track and map over a million galaxies around the Big Dipper.
© 2019 Charles Mary Kubricht. All rights reserved.