Next up in our Artist Profiles series is Brian Rosa, one of the Mass Cultural Council’s Photography Fellowship awardees who will be exhibiting his work at the upcoming exhibition at the The New Art Center in Newton, MA.
The work featured in the exhibition at the New Art Center is the result of a residency I held at the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Wendover, Utah during the summer of 2010. The residency was jointly held by myself and Adam Ryder as the creative studio Site Unseen. The works displayed in the exhibition are the result of the project The Edge of Light, which emerged from the residency, consisting of two photographs I made in the process. The entire series may be viewed at the Site Unseen website.
The conceptual underpinnings of the project are as follows: viewing the American landscape from an airplane window, at night, artificial light becomes a symbol of human settlement: a sort of technological aura humanity has woven about – and projected from – itself. Especially in sparsely populated areas, the flowing motorways and flickering towns embedded into an invisible topography were not just lights, they were people. This symbolism becomes more pronounced as land development dissipates into the darkness of vast, unbuilt frontier: that which we cannot see. We aimed to explore this phenomenon from the ground up.
Exploring the output of commercial, municipal and residential light sources in the liminal fringes between development and the desert, we photographed the perimeter of Wendover across state lines. The goal was not just to make photographs, but semi-empirical representations of data gathered in the field regarding the ephemeral luminous fringes of the Wendover area through circumnavigating zones of nightlife, residence and dereliction amid the desert landscape. This peripatetic practice required following light from its sources to its most diminished point, tracing and mapping luminous edges.
The Edge of Light is a collection of nighttime photographs of Wendover that record our investigations of the area. We explored the interstitial, unoccupied spaces at the edges of the interstate, among the ruins of the military base, and between nightlife zones and the casino workers’ tract housing. We set out to document the ambient light emitting from commercial, municipal and residential light sources in an attempt to find a mythical “edge of light” in the high desert.
Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellows and Finalist Photography Exhibition
February 28- March 23, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, February 28, 6-8:30 pm
Artist Talk: Tuesday, March 4, 11am
New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, MA 02460. Gallery hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm; Saturday 1 – 5pm. The exhibition is free, open to the public and accessible to all.