May 19, 2017 – Sep 9, 2017
Michael Ryan Handley’s Sublimation explores the importance of water or lack thereof, and its generative power to change the look and feel of areas experiencing prolonged drought, as well as its creative ability when left unhindered.
By positioning itself as equal parts alchemy, experimental science, and process-based art making, Sublimation examines the technique of weather manipulation through cloud seeding, which is an attempt to add moisture by dispersing silver iodide and dry ice into clouds in hopes of creating rain to feed the arid landscapes below. Handley contrasts the potential for humans to control nature with the idea that nature can control his art making practice. Water, in its various states, becomes the vehicle for this exploration. Evaporation and sublimation are used to create artworks that reference early photography and abstract landscape paintings. Each process is allowed to run its course with the moisture eventually disappearing, leaving a record of their previous states of existence.
Through sculptures covered in iodine-exposed silver leaf, animated weather maps projected into dry ice vapor, and evaporation paintings, Handley asks the viewer to consider the question, if we become the manufacturers of nature, is it possible for nature to become the manufacturer of art?