Science unites us, and technology enables us to envision these connections. Through her continued investigations using thermal technology, visual artist Linda Alterwitz searches out the threads that connect science with contemporary culture, revealing a human experience that summons the unexpected. From having a fever in one’s body to the effects of global warming, temperature pervades our lives. In Alterwitz’s on-going PROJECT THERMAL, temperature is digitally recorded through photography utilizing state of the art thermal imaging. The imagery radiates a surreal quality, creating photographs that appear both scientific and ethereal.
Thermal technology is used for surveillance and detection of chemical, biological, radiation, nuclear and explosive materials. In contrast to the scientific functions, these expose a right-brained, dreamlike energy that animates living beings. Radiating from humans and animals are the biological commonalities that unite us – breath, sweat, inflammation and the warm circulation of blood. Glowing white, unique patterns fade and reappear on skin, reacting to internal and external stimuli. Hidden from view are the physical characteristics that socially divide us. Pigmentation, including skin color, tattoos, and hair color ceases to exist. Marks and wrinkles on skin disappear, blurring the lines of age and gender. THERMAL reaches beyond the visible, shedding light on the universal connectivity of all matter including living beings and the environment. It is Alterwitz’s hope that this work kindles curiosity that extends beyond the boundaries of experience, thought, and aesthetics.