Friday, February 17, 2012

The First Billion Years

Life started on our planet about 4.5 billion years ago. I just started a project called "The First Billion Years." Each clay figure in this project represents one million years of life on Earth. So, I'll have to make 1000 figures. Incidentally, scientists conjecture that life began in a clay matrix, so I think this project fits right in.

 Study Shape for "The First Billion Years"

How to observe the species one encounters? As a snapshot? A series? A set of forms? Part of a hierarchy? A surface? A shape? A whole or part of a whole? These questions still challenge scientists and artists. In this project I grapple with the questions of classification, evolution, and analysis that have puzzled scientists since Aristotle.

Study  Shape for "The First Billion Years"

The first several thousand years of taxonomy (and of art) were predominantly form-based. The discovery of DNA and genomics expanded our taxonomic practice and challenged the philosophical basis of classification, but the seeds of challenge were planted by Charles Darwin, who understood the random nature of evolution.

Study Piece for "The First Billion Years"

Study Curve for "The First Billion Years"

Study Shape for "The First Billion Years"

Darwin himself recognized the antiquity of our planet, which he estimated as one million years old. Earth and Life are much older. We estimate that life has existed on Earth for nearly five billion years. Understanding the development of life forms over this incredibly long period presents a perhaps unfathomable gulf to the human mind. My project aims to address this challenge.

Study for "The First Billion Years."

 Study for "The First Billion Years."

No comments:

Post a Comment