An interest in the origins of life on Earth and what forms sentience might assume elsewhere in the universe is a driving force behind the work of multidisciplinary artist Charles Lindsay. Over the last decade, Lindsay has been exploring the microcosms and macrocosms of the universe through the most elemental components of photography—surface, emulsion, and light—as seen in this early image from his CARBON series. Here, the image becomes a world unto itself, referencing the microscopic essence of life on this planet—animal, vegetal, and mineral—and the macroscopic wonders of the infinite universe.
Lindsay’s camera-less CARBON series merges the aesthetics of space exploration and scientific imaging with the interpretation of abstract symbols. The series began with a camera-less method discovered while experimenting with photograms and drawing. CARBON has now grown into immersive environments including large stills, video, multi-point sound, and interactive sculptures built from salvaged aerospace and biotech equipment that have been exhibited at Mass MOCA, among other institutions. Bolinas Museum featured early CARBON prints in the “Cosmic Wonders”exhibition in 2018.
A San Francisco native, Charles Lindsay was educated as an exploration geologist and worked as a photojournalist in Southeast Asia before embracing the full possibilities of his creative spirit. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Residency, and founder of NASA’s SETI Artist in Residence program. He is creating new work in Baja Sur, while planning his next major exhibition and installation in Kyoto, Japan, collaborating with the famous Zen Temple.