As societies have evolved, so have our relationships and demands on the natural world, whether inside our homes or globally. My interest lies in making multidisciplinary artworks which address the reciprocal stories of human corruption and reliance on plants and our shared environment. The way farming and urban development has ordered the world and how it continues to shape us fascinates, humbles, and alarms me in equal measure. My installations, time-lapse, and photographic works analyze historical developments in botany, plant science, plant consciousness, and how we consistently underestimate plants’ predominance and influence over humanity. Concurrently, my use of stop-motion animation allows me to represent the past, present, and future of landscapes and architecture. These works simulate paths of habitat change and deconstruct cultural and corporate practices such as tourism and industrial engineering.
As a resource, water is usually undervalued here in the United States, and the Catawba River is no exception. Charlotte and its suburbs are completely at the mercy of its quality and quantity, and in some places that has meant being stretched to breaking point in recent years. The use of the water by Duke Energy continues to be a concern for government and environmentalists alike, and this video reveals one positive outcome of the call for toxic substance cleanup. The decommissioned coal power station at Riverbend closed in 2013, leaving behind huge ash ponds full of heavy metals and arsenic in close proximity to the river. Today the process of removing these hazardous remnants is well underway. Using both video and animation techniques, Catawba reflects on the industrialization of water by contrasting its vitality and beauty with its ability to redefine our communities and landscape, as well as obscure the past.
For more information and to check out Rob’s work, visit robcarter.net