Eduardo L. Rivera is a photo-based artist working in Phoenix, Arizona. He received his BFA in Photography from Arizona State University where he worked along side Guggenheim fellows Betsy Schneider and Mark Klett. Eduardo’s work is in personal collections and has been displayed in various galleries within the southwest region including a partner space with The Etherton Gallery in Tucson, Arizona and the Marion Center for Photographic Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His 131 and Third Avenue Market series have earned him travel grants to the 2011 and 2012 Society for Photographic Education national conference and also to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil from the Ted Decker Catalyst Fund. He lives in Tempe, Arizona and splits his time photographing and working at the ASU Art Museum.
It is a process that, ultimately, restructures the essence of the specimen. In this way, botanical life can only endure as a specimen in a liminal state, the extended occupation of a pause between natural growth and decomposition. It is in this otherwise invisible moment, one reachable only through the intervention of the preservative act, that I find a deep and uncanny beauty.
I emphasize the manipulation that manifests from preservation through the use of salt. This paradoxical mineral, that is necessary to sustain life—yet, if the delicate balance is outweighed, can extinguish it—reflects the structure of a preserved specimen and acts to preserve it. I submerge each living plant in a bath of salt water and allow the salt to crystallize on and within the living form.
Inspired by the intentions of botanical illustrations as a method to understand and control one’s environment, I seek to impress the human urge to order nature and in the process fundamentally change it. Using the platinum-palladium photographic process for its chemical stability and long-lasting image, these direct contact prints complicate the ideal of preservation, albeit, at the expense of the most authentic act of living matter, decay.
Looking at portfolios from Critical Mass 2011…
Born in London, Michael Marten has been working for the past eight years on Sea Change, a study of the tides around the coast of Britain. The views in each diptych are taken from identical positions at low tide and high tide, usually 6 or 18 hours apart. He comes to this work with an interest in science and medicine. In fact, he started a stock agency, the Science Photo Library, that concentrated on science and medicine imagery. He also has been the picture editor and co-author of several books of scientific imagery.
I am interested in showing how landscape changes over time through natural processes and cycles. The camera that observes low and high tide side by side enables us to observe simultaneously two moments in time, two states of nature. Recent landscape photography has often focused on human shaping (and reshaping) of the environment – agriculture, urbanisation, globalisation, pollution. Even when this approach is critical and committed, it also serves to emphasise, even glamorise, humankind’s power over nature. I’m interested in rediscovering nature’s own powers: the elemental forces and processes that underlie and shape the planet.
The tides are one of these great natural cycles. I hope these photographs will stimulate people’s awareness of natural change, of landscape as dynamic process rather than static image. Attending to earth’s rhythms can help us to reconnect with the fundamentals of our planet, which we ignore at our peril. ‘Sea Change’ also comments on climate change. The tide floods in and quickly recedes again, but rising sea levels will flood our shores and not recede for thousands or millions of years. Many of the views in these pictures may have disappeared in 100 years’ time.
‘Sea Change’ is an example of ‘comparative photography’, where two or more images show development in time (or other dimensions). The ‘rephotography’ of Mark Klett, and Nicholas Nixon’s portraits of the Brown sisters, are well-known examples.