Installed behind the front windows of the Observatory, Audrey Culp’s dioramas, figure 1 and figure 2a,b, narrate the origin of life in fictional time and space. These dioramas represent the first pair in a continuing series of dioramas dedicated to the creation of new life, each work representing chronological leaps in a fictional evolution. Drawing from scientific visual languages, each object/life form within the piece is assigned behaviors, preferences, repulsions, and potentials. The full characters created for these life-units inspire a visual event that is carried out within the diorama. In this way, much of the composition is informed by the motivations and physical characteristics of the object/life forms themselves, rather than the original creator. As the series progresses, the narrative becomes more complex and the relationship between author and subject, god and his/her creation is redefined.
As you move through Observatory doors you will find Katie Miller’s proposal for a more unnatural creation of life- a biogenetic incubation tank. This large scale diorama serves as a look at one possibility for future procreation- a new genesis, where humans are not created by the miracle of natural procreation but by a biochemical process called “Invent-a-Child.” It could be the birth of a new species, the second coming with a new Adam and Eve awaiting the birth of their baby created by science and the creativity of the human mind.