Carson Fisk-Vittori, b. 1987, Austin, TX, received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. Using photography, installation, and collaborative practices she is exploring the idea of anthropocene, a new term denoting the current geological era characterized by the significant effect of humanity on the earth’s ecosystems. She has exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions such as The ICA Philadelphia, Favorite Goods, LA, The Future Gallery, Berlin, Contemporary Gallery, Tel Aviv, and Humble Arts, New York, with upcoming exhibitions at the University of Washington, Seattle, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago and Bas Fischer Invitational, Miami. She currently lives and works in Oakland, California.
“I am most interested in the times when our representations of nature reveal a failure. In one sense, nature refers to everything ever produced or generated. Culture and technology are all part of nature, but in order to learn about nature, it is necessary to separate ourselves. Without culture, we know little or nothing about nature. The whole idea of the landscape results from culture interacting with nature. My work focuses on the many devices that we use to see nature, and our attempts to replicate it.
One of these devices is floral design – a microcosm for our relationship to nature. In western culture, floral arrangements are usually in the form of a round, dense bouquet. This is representative of a bounty or excess, and a desire to control nature. In japan floral arrangement is called Ikebana, and it is considered high art. Rather than the idea of floral arrangement as a collection of blooms, ikebana emphasizes other areas of the plant such as stems and leaves, and accentuates shape, line and form. There is intention behind each aspect of the arrangement. While western flower arrangement can be seen as a ravaging of the earth, Ikebana represents a contemplation of nature and a harmony. In the 20th Century the “Free Style” school of Ikebana became more popular. Rather than following strict rules, it is a free creative design that is not confined to flowers, every material can be used. I see my current work in dialogue with this “Free Style” movement.”