“Without an ecological conscience, we have very little hope for change. But our imaginative powers, as well as our moral intelligence can help us find this consciousness.”
Gyorgy Kepes, art theorist, 1972.
We are at the precipice of what could become the long and painful road to extinction. What sets us apart from other inhabitants of this beautiful planet is that we have a choice. We can choose to change. We can choose to stop this destruction. We have ingenuity. This ability allows us to dream of better worlds, to invent solutions. But we must choose to invent wisely, imagine in smarter, sustainable ways, not just for ourselves, but for the planet and all of its inhabitants. As artists we choose to harness hope to encourage change on a significant scale.
Our understanding of this coming reality coincided with our realization that our Art must speak to viewers in a meaningful, soulful way. In the early 1990’s as we studied the ideas of Josef Beuys’ social sculpture, our emerging purpose for our Art began to form. We determined our Art would speak to change, to influencing viewers toward visceral, sustained contemplation of their own place in our evolving existence. Our work explores the complex relationship linking humans, nature and technology. Within each body of work this triangular narrative ebbs and flows. We use this loose narrative as a means to communicate with viewers about our collective fate and our shared ability to create positive change.
Our photographs offer visual poems of loss, human struggle, and personal exploration within landscapes scarred by technology and over-use. As collaborative artists, we strive to metaphorically and poetically link laborious actions, idiosyncratic rituals and strangely crude machines into tales about our contemporary experiences. We construct elaborate sets made from found objects. Our scenes combine real and constructed landscapes. These scenes have a sense of determination and irony while addressing mankind’s responsibility to heal the damage inflicted on the environment.
Staged images offer endless possibilities for exploration while offering viewers personal interpretation. By allowing viewers to complete the story before them, we allow agency to take hold within them. We develop layers of duality: hope and despair, success and failure, desire and distain, destruction and stewardship. We explore the fragile human condition, and the overarching shadow of environmental destruction. Perhaps the only true hope for our world and our human spirit rests in our ability to imagine.