For millions of years only dramatic shifts in terrain informed the reading of Earth’s surface from outer space. Now the cumulative light from highly urbanized areas creates a new type of information and understanding of the world that reflects dominance over the planet. Lux, titled after the system unit for measuring illumination, presents photographic portraits of the cities within the most brightly lit regions on the NASA map of the night earth. This project is inspired by the disconnect that exists between the immense beauty produced by man-made light and the complexity of what this light represents.
In a time when it is argued that no aspect of nature is unaffected by human impact, my work reflects upon a lifestyle that fosters an intense need to dominate and control nature while existing in an increasingly delicate balance with its resources and rhythms. I am interested in the dialectic between the surface documentation of a photograph and the complex reality that lies beyond that surface – how beauty can suggest the simple and ideal while both subtly reflecting and obscuring an often darker more complicated truth.
Throughout most of human history, man-made light has signified hope and progress within local and global arenas. In the series Lux, light also paradoxically denotes regression or transgression – an index of the complex negative human impacts on the health and future of the planet.
Public dialogue about global warming and energy consumption has increased exponentially since the inception of Lux. The project connects with myriad efforts to grapple with these issues.
Christina Seely (San Francisco, CA) completed her BA in Studio Art in 1998 from Carleton College (Northfield, MN). She continued on to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where she received a Post Baccalaureate Certificate. She earned her MFA in Photography with Honors from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 2003 . In 2007, her work was included in the exhibition Exposure atthe Photographic Resource Center in Boston, MA and in the 2010 her work was included in the Fotofest Biennial Exhibition, Road to Nowhere curated by Natasha Egan, Curator, MoCP (Chicago, Il) in Houston, Texas.