Art and Science on the Klamath River

Art and Science on the Klamath River

An introduction to my Klamath River Project: What interests me more than knowledge and answers that science provides are the questions we each ask, why we ask them, and the ways we go about trying to find answers. Within the questions, I have found many points of convergence between art and science, primarily in process. My goal with this project is not to explain or illustrate science with my art. Doing so would keep the science contained within the realm of the intellect. Rather my aspiration is to ask better questions so I can know the river, as well as I can, to see and experience it from different perspectives, and to create artwork alongside science that may provide a shift of perception or a doorway that opens to awe and wonder.

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Movement

Movement

Dams fascinate me. We build large walls to hold the water back. We try to tame the water so we can control how much and when it flows. This contradicts the nature of water which is to constantly flow. Dams make me uneasy.

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Stage 0

Stage 0

The creek has been stretched back in time, erasing not only the human created erosion and damage, but also eliminating any chiseling the creek had done on its own prior to human intervention. It’s like shaking a giant Etch A Sketch until all evidence of previous drawings have been eliminated and the raw material is reset to a flat smooth plane where a new drawing can start to take form.

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Whychus Stories

Whychus Stories

This place is defined by water.
I came to Pine Meadow Ranch to listen to stories of the creek on this ranch in Sisters, Oregon. The ranch is idyllic with its unobstructed views of the mountains and Whychus Creek, its milky glacial melt waters originating from Broken Top and all Three Sisters, running through the ranch.
Little, if any land on the ranch is untouched. It is a fully constructed landscape dating back to the 1800s when settlers cleared fields for cattle and began diverting streams to irrigate their ranches. Some of the coveted water rights for this ranch date back to 1895, superseding the water rights of Three Sisters Irrigation District (TSID).

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Connection & Curiosity, Not Fear

Connection & Curiosity, Not Fear

My art does not speak directly to environmental crises, environmentalism, or even ecology. There is a lot of art that does and I’m not convinced of the efficacy of much of it to change minds or to offer a new perspective, let alone to initiate action. There is only so much crisis one can take. I know this from experience.
I choose a different approach with my work.

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Science Curious

Science Curious

My resistance to the label art-sci leads me to examine why I gravitate toward science with my art. I wanted more magic. Scientists show me how to see the world differently and expanding my mind by helping me see more complexity in the environment. But now, As an artist, instead of burying the magic, I get to draw it out and play with it.

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