Prestigious fellowship to aid viz prof's sun-focused photo project

Krista Steinke

"The Earth is not a Spaceship"

See an excerpt from Steinke’s film “The Earth is Not a Spaceship.”

An experimental photo project focused on exploring the sun has earned Krista Steinke, an instructional assistant professor for the Department of Visualization, a prestigious fellowship from The Howard Foundation at Brown University.

Steinke’s project, “Good Luck with the Sun,” uses multiple photographic processes to create multi-sensory images and videos examining the physical and psychological impact of the world’s greatest energy source.

“The work incorporates scientific imagery, personal narrative and experimental photographic processes, creating a multi-layered dialogue about our dual relationship with the sun; essential for life on this planet while also, a potential threat of doom and destruction,” Steinke said. “The work unveils visual and conceptual layers that collectively create a unique sensory portrait of the sun, while posing questions about our dependency on the natural world.”

The fellowship provides resources an exhibit, which will feature Steinke’s large format prints, images displayed in light boxes, photographic specimen grids and two videos.

Several of the images were captured in extended exposures with pinhole cameras placed on the rooftop of the Texas A&M College of Architecture’s Langford building.

The Howard Foundation awards a select group of artists, scholars and writers with fellowships in the fields of photography, anthropology and archaeology annually. Fellows are awarded $33,000 to help them complete their work.

“Good Luck with the Sun” will debut as a solo exhibit April 2018 in Austin and will travel to the Brauer Museum of Art in Indiana the following fall.

In another recent artistic achievement, “The Earth is Not a Spaceship,” a film Steinke directed, was an official selection for the 2017 Earth Day Film Festival, an outdoor event held April 21-23 in the desert near Joshua Tree, Calif.

The film uses vintage educational footage from The Texas Archive of the Moving Image to explore technology as a surrogate for experiencing nature. It was hailed by festival judges as “a profound and disturbing short experimental film that guides the viewer through sublime natural imagery with the voice of Mother Earth acting as a guide. This film challenges its very means of communication — the concept of film — and will leave you shaken. There is no substitute for nature, and certainly not a movie.”


Sarah Wilson

posted April 27, 2017