Art Meets Science
My research spans a wide range of materials and processes, but are connected by a practice of transdisciplinary curiosity and exploration. My obsessions have circled around natural systems, biology, dynamic states such as climate change, and poetry surrounding life.
While trained as both artist and scientist, these are labels which so often are to the exclusion of being something else. What I appreciate about Unity College is the ease of being able to study multiple disciplines in order to understand, process, and create in ways that are without bounds.
Examples of my work and exhibitions can be viewed at www.dmwitman.com.
The ramifications of the Industrial Revolution altered the global climate via rising waters, increased temperatures, and climate refugees and altered the cultural climate via new inventions, such as photography, which has served as witness and now a vehicle for awareness and activism via its earliest methods- the salted-paper photograph. Melt continues the tradition of activist photography by documenting the shifting climate, drawing awareness to changes in world climate via participatory art.
Satellite images were gathered via the internet, and photographs were printed in the 19th-c. salted-paper photographic process, creating new landscapes. The exhibition images were created to be ephemeral, fading over the course of the exhibition, invoking a sense of change and drawing attention to the global shift. Viewers are invited and encouraged to revisit the fading landscapes to experience the disappearance.
In celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Henry David Thoreau’s, “We Might Climb A Tree, At Least” (Thoreau) the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts invited artists to commemorate the occasion. These anthotypes are photographs created from various plant products such as wild foraged huckleberries and Maine blueberries, or from onion skins. The plant remnants are used to create an emulsion which is hand-applied to a piece of fine printmaking paper, and exposed in the sun for long durations of time.
Supercluster Arion and Other Phenomena
Over the course of two years, I obsessively worked with common slugs directly on silver photographic paper. The process involved nightly slug hunting trips into the woods, followed by late night darkroom sessions. (No slugs were harmed in the making of the images). The marks you see, whether from the slug trails, or slugs eating the gelatin of the paper, or records of their bodies, each interaction produced visible results. These micro environments mirror the larger macrocosm of stars and galaxies, prompting us to seek connections between systems and worlds.