Alterwitz continues to embrace science and technology with art and nature by pushing their boundaries in content and execution. The title of the project itself, ONCE OCEAN, carries an emotive weight, giving reference to things in our world that are completely beyond human control. Yet it also draws us into science, “What event or series of events changed our oceans to desert and why?”
Identified in each photograph are two separate themes working together to support one concept. One principle photographic theme is the NATURAL WORLD: sky/clouds/mountains/water/sand representing our natural environment. The other principle photographic theme is SCIENCE. Visible are either saw tooth waves created from EEG or EKG testing. These rhythmic patterns are real information created from data derived from tests of heart and brain. The subject matter from both disciplines is the result of detailed investigations of life, of how the world works. Although the proposed results differ (the hypothesis of the scientist verses the personal experience of the artist), art and science together help to connect us as human beings.
These images were conceived as large format digital photographs and in a very small edition are fabricated as another final format as Jacquard tapestries. Although digitally woven, each tapestry is symbolic of an object of art that is handed down from generation to generation. In contrast, advances in science and technology change on a daily basis. Art and science have always been intricately connected. Yet, in this series, these two disciplines create contradicting feelings of reassurance and turmoil, giving reference to human shared strengths and vulnerabilities.
Alterwitz constantly questions technology’s effect upon the individual as well as the complicated relationship that humans have with nature. ONCE OCEAN offers a remembrance and reassurance that our human rhythms and emotions that are inextricably bonded with the energy of our landscape. As day turns to night, and an era becomes an eon, the earth remains constant and cyclical. While all of this was once ocean and at some point will all be flooded again, eventually we will all return to nature.