Artist’s Statement: From the Nano to the Geo

 We are supremely lucky to be blessed with the consciousness to enjoy the beauty of our planet. Technology allows us to look deep with our bodies and within ourselves and to the outermost reaches of the cosmos. I explore this unique relationship in my work.

Geotherapy is a practice that embraces the future by addressing the link between cultural and biological evolution.  The concept of ‘Geotherapy’ acknowledges that we are at the dawn of the Anthropocene age, where human generated pollution threatens the habitability of the biosphere. The principles of Geotherapy encompass the cross-section between art, technology, and social change.

Many of my sculptures translate microscopic and scientific data into large-scale figurative forms.  The viewer, upon engaging with the art, takes part in how life functions beyond the lens of what the human eye can perceive.  My large scale public sculptures translate sub molecular data like proteins which are so small they can only be detected with a scanning electron microscope bouncing rays off of theirmovement into three dimensional tangible forms. These works celebrate both biology and scientific discovery.

The second actively heals the planet. The art itself functions to repair environmental damage. My most current projects combine living aquatic structures with sustainable environmental technology which uses innovative restoration techniques that do not use plastic or concrete. These functional sculptures serve to renew reefs and to restore coastlines.

My recently completed body of work “La Boheme: A Portrait of Our Oceans in Peril”, addresses “Geotherapy” on a material level. I began this body of work after collecting plankton samples from water bodies around the world, including as an artist in residence on the Tara Oceans round the world plankton expedition. I discovered no matter where in the world I was, I found micro plastics intimately entwined with the otherworldly shapes of the plankton.

My current work Supernatural, glass and natural rock sculptures, is based on the belief that all in nature has a life force, including oceans, mountains, rivers and deserts. James Lovelock espoused this idea in the Gaia Hypothesis. He believed that everything on earth behaves as living organism.  I agree and believe believe that we are  increasingly out of step with the wonder and beauty of nature.  It is my hope that works like Supernatural will help us all become reacquainted with nature and encourage us to heal our wounded biosphere.

 

Mara G. Haseltine

New York City

May 2015