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2021 SPE Annual Conference: Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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Linda  Alterwitz

SPE Member since 2015
Member Chapter: West

Envisioning the Veil

Envisioning The Veil
Linda Alterwitz

I investigate the rhythms of our bodies and our relationship with the natural environment. As I have always turned to the natural world to seek peace, solace, renewal, and restoration, I considered how the natural environment offers humans a place of "sanctuary" to help deal with stress and disturbance, while at the same time acknowledging that the environment itself is threatened and degraded by human behavior. Envisioning the Veil (2017-2019) explores this contradiction.

Carried forward from my previous project Once Ocean, I continue to use visual brain patterns as a metaphor for human thoughts and emotions, utilizing data output from EEG testing (used to analyze electrical activity of the human brain). The data is derived from file records of EEG testing of distressed brains as a visualization of the inconsistencies and aberrations of human thoughts and emotions.

I also continue to emphasize the escalating deterioration of our natural environment by referencing the growing threats to our world. I photographed natural landscapes and domestic settings representing personal places of sanctuary that are threatened or endangered. The physical degradation is not apparent in these photographs, reflecting the hidden features that often underlie foreboding conditions.

In Envisioning the Veil, I constructed photographs to envision this conflict between people and the environment by printing brainwaves onto medical gauze and sewing each piece, using medical suture thread, directly onto the surface the of the photographs.

I struggle with the knowledge that we rely on our natural environment and our families for sustenance and refuge, while paradoxically engaging in decisions and behaviors that are causing harm and even destroying these fragile connections. It is my hope that these investigations will offer viewers a subjective exploration of the interconnectivity that binds us to our land and to each other.

"Untitled #5" from the series Envisioning the Veil

"Leaving Home" from the series Envisioning the Veil

"Untitled #4" from the series Envisioning the Veil

"Ruth's Window" from the series Envisioning the Veil

"Untitled #7" from the series Envisioning the Veil

"Darrin's Divided Window" from the series Envisioning the Veil

"Untitled #2" from the series Envisioning the Veil

"Untitled #16" from the series Envisioning the Veil

"Untitled #10" from the series Envisioning the Veil

"Abandoned" from the series Envisioning the Veil

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