Altar para la tierra.
This project is an ongoing installation that aims to represent the effects of climate change on the environment in infrared through an Ofrenda.
About the Project:
I use a combination of gathered materials from different locations in the Houston area such as Baytown, Freeport, Pearland, Sugarland, West Columbia, and Alvin to add a specific sense of place and context to the artwork. The use of debris from drought-ridden or flooded sites, in addition to objects like animal bones, provides tangible, visceral elements that bring the viewer closer to the sites. These materials will be arranged on an ofrenda to evoke the idea of the environment being slowly killed by pollution and other forms of environmental damage, in anticipation of its death. my artwork is intended to be a multi-sensory experience that engages viewers both visually and emotionally. The installation of the altar will be a critical component of the artwork, providing a space for contemplation and reflection on the impact of environmental damage and pollution on the world around us.
Infrared photography is a fascinating technique that allows us to see beyond what is visible to the naked eye. This method captures light beyond the visible spectrum, specifically in the near-infrared range, which is typically between 700 to 900 nanometers. The result is a stunning image that showcases vibrant, healthy vegetation in shades of bright white, while dead or stressed plants appear dark. The technique relies on the fact that living plants reflect more near-infrared light than they do visible light, while stressed or dead plants reflect less.
t can be used to study the impact of changes on the environment, such as deforestation and urbanization. These changes can affect local temperature and precipitation patterns, which can have broader implications for the global climate. Infrared photography can help researchers detect and track these changes by identifying patterns in vegetation health and changes in land cover. Moreover, infrared photography can be utilized in the agriculture industry to monitor crop health and yields. It can determine areas of stress in crops before allowing for early detection.
To add to this message of sustainability, I use a combination of reused containers, including glass, plastic, and metal, refilling them with my own repurposed wax that I have collected over the years. By doing so, I reduce waste and bring attention to the importance of reusing materials.
The candles on the Ofrenda are an essential component of my work, and I use them to draw attention to the need for greater environmental consciousness. To further this message, I print on the glass containers to mimic the look of prayer candles but with a focus on the more archival process of what the Houston area has experienced in regard to pollution and climate change.
My printed materials include newspaper clippings of factory accidents or mishaps caused by increasing low regulations and carelessness on the part of companies such as Dow Chemical Plant, Philips 66, Jefferson's Plant, Exxon Mobil, and Shell. These references, combined with historical images of these sites in the Greater Houston area, serve as a powerful reminder of the irreversible damage caused by human actions and the need for greater environmental awareness.
Through my printed matter artwork, I strive to bring attention to the environmental damage caused by human actions and to inspire viewers to take responsibility for their own impact on the world. By using repurposed materials and drawing on my cultural heritage, I create a powerful visual display that invites viewers to reflect on the fragility of the human experience and the need for greater sustainability.