As humankind unveils the mysteries of the cosmos, humankind unveils mysteries of the self. The efforts of space sciences such as astrophysics, astrobiology, and cosmology analyze outer worlds and systems to produce data that we can use to better understand ourselves, illustrating a relationship of macro vs micro. The forces that cause two massive celestial bodies to entwine together in orbit for eons are the same forces that keep our relatively tiny bodies together and grounded. Dependence on gravitational tension is universal. We experience in our daily lives what the universe is made of.
Through studying the infinite, a new frame of mind is gained: a cosmic perspective. Renown cosmologists like Dr. John Gribbin (Stardust: Supernovae and Life) and the late Dr. Carl Sagan (The Pale Blue Dot) have written in length about the power of this mindset. The cosmic perspective dismantles humanity’s ego and atop the detritus it constructs a new philosophy based on the kinship of all matter. Our relationship with the cosmic macro simultaneously belittles and inflates us. When the stars revealed that the atoms within our bodies were forged within their torrid and tempestuous cores, we discovered that though we are immeasurably small within the grand scheme, we are also massive - as one entity with one cosmic origin.
With a doctrine delivered through the evocation of awe, the cosmos teaches us an empowering humility. The objects and experiences that constitute my work serve as relics which aim to elevate these teachings to a level of worthy of spiritual reverence. For example, my piece titled Alpha Radiance displays the atomic symbol of hydrogen as an image of divinity suspended within a golden lantern. The work references ancient religious relics and attempts to show a spiritual reverence for hydrogen, the first element created after the Big Bang.
As cosmology crafts theories and algorithms that investigate our outer space, my practice crafts cosmic objects that investigate our immediate space. In working to give science a more corporeal representation, I’ve joined an effort with other artists such as Olafur Eliasson and Josiah McElheny who strive to expose humanity’s condition in relation to the realms of physics and cosmology. I have also employed the guidance of postdoctoral researchers Dr. Kirtland Robinson and Robert Strausbaugh to better understand the weight and effects of various astronomical discoveries. Through collaborative discussion, Dr. Robinson, Strausbaugh, and I are exploring ways to make scientific theories into tangible objects and experiences via contemporary art. Cosmological concepts breathe life into my works, allowing them to serve as scientific snapshots and didactic encounters illustrating how, through our unity, we are just as big as the ideas that dwarf us.