When Light is Put Away evolved from my fascination with astronomy and the vastness of the night sky. I spent my nights photographing the heavens in an attempt to satisfy my longing to access worlds lightyears away. In the midst of this process, I discovered that the artificially lit nocturnal world began to mimic the imagery I was aiming to make with my photographs of the night sky. The darkness of night created a celestial landscape that enabled a transportation to an ambiguous time and place, a curious world peculiarly rooted in the familiar.
Imagery of the heavens is established in our vernacular, allowing a blurring between science and fantasy. Expectations of celestial imagery are highly informed through interpretations by science-fiction media in addition to scientific data. These expectations have been enhanced with the genre of films and novels referred to as “hard science fiction.” These films and novels portray imagery that aim to be scientifically plausible and credible. Whether or not the information is factual, it feeds in to the expectations of public perception.
One of the most popular premises in hard science fiction is our ability to cultivate civilizations on other planets. While these ideas may have originated in fictitious dialogues, they also occupy conversations in the scientific community. Scientists continue to reveal the declination of our climate, with human influence closing in on irreversible. With these continued studies, science and popular culture have furthered their fascinations with predictions of the fate of our own planet and the potential of civilizations on others. What was once a premonition of hypothetical means has become a palpable concern.
With this urgency and dialogue in mind, these photographs create a world that embodies a planet rooted both in reality and fantasy. The world rendered is one of the naturally uncanny and enchanting, a seductive landscape in which the line between present-day Earth and prospective otherworldly terrain is blurred. The images further depict an isolated world caught amid a semblance of construction and disrepair. Man-made structures are stripped of their contexts and highlight their own obsolescence. Using the visual language of both astronomy and fantasy, this new landscape adopts contradictions of a virulent and destructive sense of beauty, revealing traces of natural resilience in spite of an unknown posterity.
All images and text © Evan Perkins
By Evan Perkins
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