Thomas Jackson Emergent Behavior
Thomas Jackson
Emergent Behavior 21 July - 16 September 2017

For Thomas Jackson's ongoing series, Emergent Behavior, the artist builds large-scale kinetic sculptures from disposable commodities, installing these works in natural settings. The resulting still images function as a commentary on consumer culture and our estrangement from our environment. His juxtaposition of colorful, everyday objects - cheese balls, office supplies, plastic cups - with lush natural settings coaxes beauty from the mundane.

Passionate about photography since he was a teenager, Thomas Jackson spent his 20s and 30s pursuing a career in writing and editing – first in book publishing, and then at a New York lifestyle magazine. While at the magazine, a number of photobooks crossed his desk – among them Gregory Crewdson's Beneath the Roses, Richard Misrach's On the Beach, and Andrew Moore's Russia - and Jackson began to recognize the narrative potential of photography, eventually turning to it full time. For Emergent Behavior, Jackson's second series of fine art photography, he began by installing natural matter in urban environments, but turned to the inverse - man-made objects in nature. Of this reversal and its critical implications, Jackson says: "I am explicitly making fun of us humans for the embarrassingly vulgar crap with which we surround ourselves. And by doing do, I hope to illustrate the depth of our estrangement from the natural world. At the same time I'm keenly interested in the mutability of things. Wrenched from its usual context, a plastic cup or a cheeseball can take on new meaning. Place it in a lush, organic environment, multiply it by a hundred or so and it can even become...beautiful." 

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