Saturday, June 17, 2017

Codex Gunnison

Codex Gunnison is an art project that explores a poorly studied natural phenomenon in the Gunnison arm of the Great Salt Lake, UT. This bay is the saltiest water body on earth, yet it still manages to host life: a peculiar, salt-loving microbe that colors the bay's water pink and creates rock-like forms on the ground.
"Codex Gunnison is a mediative engagement with a unique and understudied ecological condition. It is also an effort to reimagine artistic practice as a speculative and vibrantly humanistic material science capable of interacting with and enriching conventional modes of objective inquiry. It does so by reframing representation as a process of critical engagement with the methodological frameworks employed by scientists with the artist manipulating the scope, aims, and outcomes of formal research."
Isn't this just a perhaps overly post-structural way of describing Natural History?

If so, it's nice to get back to that effort, which combined passion and close observation to gain understanding of natural phenomena before there was a structured practice of science to do that. Natural History combined artistic and analytical thinking and skills in a powerful way that has to some extent been lost in the process of science becoming more technical and fragmented.

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