PERDITA, IN FINDING(S)

In this current complex moment of dramatic; political, cultural, and environmental flux, Perdita, In Finding(s), faces into the inherent tentativeness brought on by exponential change. Drawing from the content of an archive of materials accumulated over the last ten years of expeditionary travels to the Arctic and tropics, the project functions as a set of impossible riddles and cues that invite a search for intentional meanings and interconnections that cannot be found. While this invitation points to the fundamental human proclivity of our need to understand, the work as a set of visual puzzles that are designed to fail, has the aim of finding a home in ongoing attempts at orientation. The photograph functions in the project as a foundational prompt, referencing the “real world”. Imagery is used as a set of semiotics that formulate a language of the natural world (mountain, bird, glacier, horizon, water, sun, moon…). These recognizable symbols are then set in conversation with familiar visualizations of measurement and organization associated with scientific and mathematic inquiry (such as grids, scaling, graphs, data points, mapping…) that tend to imply a sense of control or comprehensibility.  Through aesthetic and photographic familiarity, the project, at a glance offers a satisfying false sense of order and understanding that eventually culminates in a feeling of disorientation rooted in the uncanny or the strangely familiar. This experience makes both, the search, and tentative feeling of being lost, the simultaneous focus. In evoking a search with inherent failure woven in, the project suggest a need for humility by pointing to the impossibility of truly comprehending the fullness of the natural world or our place within the complexity of the larger planetary whole.