Javascript must be enabled to view this site.

Read our system requirements.

Gowanus Canal - Artist Proof
1 of 1
Gowanus Canal - Artist Proof
Item Details
Gowanus Canal - Artist Proof
Work Type
Artists' books
Creation Site: Brooklyn, New York. Jenifer Wightman.
Clamshell; Epson color print, Vandercook printing press
40 pages; 8 5/8 x 9 1/4 x 1 1/8 inches
Jenifer Wightman (Brooklyn, New York, USA) is a scientist researching greenhouse gas inventories of agronomic systems at Cornell University and teaching at Parsons. Her art practice began in 2002 and employs scientific tropes to incite curiosity of ecological phenomena. She is interested in forming an ecological rationality by reflecting on the co-evolution of a culture and its supporting ecosystem.
Artist Book Statement; Gowanus Canal - Artist Proof (2014). I employ a 19th century microbiology technique to induce bacteria to synthesize pigment. Specifically, I build sculptural frames and fill them with site-specific mud, water, and microbes. Exposed to light, the microbes photosynthesize pigments. Single cells are invisible to the naked eye. However, as a species reproduces in its landscape, the collective masses of pointillist color create blocks of visible color. As one species uses up resources and releases wastes, a differently colored successor begins thriving on the wastes. Color indicates the transitions of cultures in a finite ecosystem of soil, water and sunlight.
While I make these ‘transforming colorfields' from a variety of ecosystems, I present a clamshell box of time- lapse photographs taken of mud collected from the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site. Here, we witness that the underbelly of NYC is alive and thriving, metabolizing wastes to make a beautiful livelihood.
Description and Image: Harrison, Lucia, Abir Biswas, Susan Aurand, Peggy Ann Burge, William J. Kupinse, Sharon A. Sharp, and Collins Memorial Library. 2015. Dirt? : Scientists, Book Artists, and Poets Reflect on Soil and Our Environment. Tacoma, Washington, USA: Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound.
This image has been selected and made available by a user using Artstor's software tools. Artstor has not screened or selected this image or cleared any rights to it and is acting as an online service provider pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §512. Artstor disclaims any liability associated with the use of this image. Should you have any legal objection to the use of this image, please visit for contact information and instructions on how to proceed.
Use of this image is in accordance with the Artstor Terms & Conditions
File Properties
File Name