Science | Fiction (2008) The body of work, "Science | Fiction," addresses the practice of science and the creation of fiction using several types of photographic techniques. The encaustic work conveys more literal ideas of science and nature: decay, suspension and suggestions of randomness and destruction. These photographs were made with a digital camera, (or appropriated digitally), printed with pigment ink on to silk tissue paper, then fused to claboard, embalming the image in encaustic medium. I chose this technique for these images to bring together two vastly different technological approaches to image making and to underscore the lineage of the practice of scientific inquiry. The large color pieces address the idea of fiction in terms of invented narrative. Each picture stands alone as an exploration of pattern, light, color, beauty and form. However within these formal parameters larger stories emerge. The images focus on the natural world and intend to afford the viewer an opportunity to bring his or her own interpretation to the photograph. This body of work underlines the inherent human propensity to collect and study and to perhaps give distinction to what we can grasp but never completely understand. THE ARCHITECTURE OF INSTINCT The Photographic Vision of Susan Seubert by Terry Tempest Williams The act of creation on any level is a birthing be it a child, a poem, or a photograph. Sometimes it is planned and orchestrated. Other times, it is a quick spark of passion, the spontaneous expression of one’s internal longings realized. The bold constructions of the imagination reveal themselves in mystery and beauty. Susan Seubert in her latest assemblage of images brings us home to the miraculous. A nest becomes a meditation on patience and purpose or as she calls it, “the architecture of instinct.” The migration of birds is seen as winged calligraphy and the breath of the great whale is an angel dancing on the waters. Moon jellies and cumulous clouds float in the landscapes of sea and sky and we remember, we, too, are part of the glories of Earth. But as Rilke reminds us, “Beauty is the beginning of terror.” Mushroom clouds manufactured for the dark dreams of war rise upward mimicking the canopy of trees. It is not leaves that fall but the radioactive seeds of death that lodge themselves in the bloodstream of humanity after all life in its wake has been obliterated. How are we to survive our own ambitious nature as a species? There is the dried skin of a snake that appears as the ouroboros devouring its own tail. This is both an image of destruction and healing. Perhaps Susan Seubert is showing us how even in death and the dried weavings of a nest that once housed the promise of a species, the infinite and holy will survive as a patterned language, a prayer for not only what was but what remains through acts of passion and purpose.