Mirror State: The Salt Flats of Northern Utah

On view
Exhibition planned for Summer/Fall 2020  — dates to be announced pending resolution of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This experiential exhibition of art and science practice-research brings together four distinct disciplines: geological sciences, voice performance, new music composition, and the moving image, funded by the Nature, Environment, Science, and Technology (NeST) Studio for the Arts at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Traveling with notebooks, cameras, and recording equipment, four NeST Studio for the Arts Fellows embarked upon a seven day exploratory research trip to the  Bonneville Salt Flats in Northern Utah to investigate questions of perception, sensation, material, and time which drive their shared practice. Their mission: to engage with the landscape and its expressive potential through sight and sound using methods of scientific inquiry. Their questions included:

  • How do we understand the forces that caused an area the size of Lake Michigan to fill and dry up twenty-eight times in the past million years?
  • How can artistic interaction with natural materials open new avenues of scientific inquiry?
  • How does the human voice interact with its surroundings, and in what ways does the voice echo the earth?
  • Can the human voice be used to explore a geologic experience of time?
  • How can one articulate climate change sonically?
  • How might we explore the landscape visually in order to both document and transform what we are seeing?
  • What will a scientific eye reveal to an artist?
  • What role can art play in furthering  scientist’s understanding at these scales?

The Fellows will share experiential works created during the field inquiry with the Boulder community through materials, data, video and sound installations that will bring forth the immersive experience.