Art Event 1: Visiting Artist Lecture, Jonathan Latiano

Earlier this week I attended a visiting artist lecture here at Notre Dame by Jonathan Latiano. I found his lecture extremely intriguing as his work always had a deep relationship with the natural sciences, something I find to be true in my own art.

The concept of time and was also a topic he covered that I found myself mulling over, especially when working with installation pieces. How do you invite the viewer into the work and the world that you create? How do you have them interact with the medium of time? I think this becomes an important question when you switch to working in 3D as opposed to 2D. Adding the third dimension means asking the viewer to start walking around the piece as opposed to facing it head on. How you invite them to walk around the piece incorporates time.

Jonathan's fascination with time also came from a deep respect for nature. He'd mentioned working with materials with a half life of at least 10,000 years. Immediately I thought back to my first semester here when I'd been calculating half-lives for General Chemistry 1. Then I thought about my trips around Japan where neighborhood temples had histories of a thousand years. Part of my respect for the boddhavistas that stood in these temples came from time--sometimes I'd even use time as a measure of value; the older the temple, the more valuable and the more respect it commanded. My thoughts then turned to the biology exam I had taken the previous day--we'd been covering evolution and I'd been taken back to lecture where the professor had explained Hutton's conclusion that the Earth had to take millions of years to form canyons and other geological landscapes. How do you provoke the viewer to think about time in this scale? Jonathan also mentioned ephemerality, that there was beauty, weight, and poetry to the transient. I thought it made sense--to contrast long-lasting nature to our temporary lives and impacts.

Pictured below are my notes from the lecture.

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