Jenifer Wightman


To create View, Wightman will construct a steel bench that frames both the human industry of the Manhattan skyline and the microbial industry of Randall’s Island Park’s Little Hell Gate Inlet salt marsh. The site will contain unique microbial populations that will make a site-specific painting. Bacteria are model systems studied by microbiologists and offer much insight into our own cellular operation. Additionally, because bacteria can divide every twenty minutes, they also provide an observable model system for us to contemplate how patterns of reproduction, consumption, and waste have feedback on the very ecosystem upon which the culture depends. In this pairing of the micro and the macro world, a viewer may rest and contemplate how microbial cultures synthesize and recycle life within a finite ecosystem.

The Blog

New color composition

Just as the trees are changing colors, so is View. 


Bacteria star in Lincoln Center NY Film Festival!

orange reds yellows pinks greens

 Manhattan skyline reflected.

Gabby and the People Make the Park

People Make the Park Gabby Uribe

I ran into Gabby and her friends a couple of weeks ago sitting on the bench - She interviewed the FLOW artists as part of the Bronx Museum  People Make the Park  program.  So fun!


Derick, August 4, 2013

Today I met Derick who lives on Randall's Island -he's been enjoying the views from my bench. I filled up about an inch of water that had evaporated (the white pigment at the top had dried up and was cracked like old oil paintings). I tried out a polarizing lens to cut reflection (the bit of blue is a reflection from an IKEA bag.  Kind of fun to see in the composition, even if it's an artifact, as I've never seen blue bacteria and I suspect it is because blue wavelengths are so powerful that no organism is foolish enough to toss those wavelengths away.). Dogs have dug up one leg so Derick helped me place a rock there until I get out there with a shovel to fill in the soil.  Day 54.

The Artist

Jenifer Wightman(b. 1973, Claremont, New Hampshire)

Jenifer Wightman's work employs scientific tropes to incite curiosity about ecological phenomena. She is interested in poetically articulating the incongruities between our current economic growth paradigm (conceptually unlimited) and our emerging notion of sustainability (limited by finite resources). Using colorful micro ecosystems as models for witnessing patterns of growth and decay, she is curious how we might conceive of an ecological rationality by reflecting on the co-evolution of cultures and their supporting ecosystem. She studied at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA (BS 1994) and Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (MS 2002).

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