Parasites is an ongoing body of photographic work exploring a history of scientific exploration through images of parasitic animals taken with a Scanning Electron Microscope and exposed onto dry plate gelatin ferrotype plates. The final images are printed larger for these abject animals to confront the viewer at a one-on-one scale.
Photography and science have had an intrinsic relationship since its’ invention in 1839. It did not take Henry Fox Talbot long until he was using his calotype process to capture what was under the lens of his microscope. The indexical nature of photography has pushed the reaches of science ever forward into the 21st century. These technologies allow us to peer in to the unexamined corners of the natural world reminding us that the universe around us is much greater than ourselves. In this realm of scientific curiosity, photography has an intriguing relationship with the invisible, allowing us to see the world that we cannot. My series Parasites explores these themes of science and wonder and, at the same time, confronts a personal fear of these parasitic organisms that attach themselves to humans. Embedded in the work is an engaging dialog with photographic history, its’ shifting modes of representation, and its’ material possibilities. In Parasites I investigate the role of shifting photographic technologies in contemporary culture and their abilities to capture a mysterious and unseen world.
Marcus DeSieno (North Port, FL) is a photographer from Albany, New York whose work is concerned with the history of science and exploration in relation to the history of photography. He received a BA in Photography from Marlboro College and is currently pursuing an MFA in Studio Art from the University of South Florida, expected to graduate in 2015. DeSieno’s work has been exhibited nationally at The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, Colorado; the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana; and Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco, among others. He was recently named a finalist for Photolucida’s esteemed Critical Mass competition in 2013. DeSieno currently lives and works in Tampa, Florida.