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Terry Falke, Cyclists Inspecting Ancient Petroglyphs, Utah, 1998, digital chromogenic print, 30 x 40 inches

Imagining Deep Time

August 28, 2014 - January 16, 2015

National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W.

Photo ID required. No charge.

"Geohistory is the immensely long and complex history of the earth, including the life on its surface (biohistory), as distinct from the extremely brief recent history that can be based on human records."  ---Martin J.S. Rudwick, science historian

From a human perspective, mountain ranges seem unchanging and permanent; yet, in the context of geological time, such landscapes are merely fleeting. Their change occurs on a scale far beyond human experience. While we measure time in terms of years, days, and minutes, geological change occurs within the scale of deep time, of long cycles framing the gradual movement of evolutionary change.

The concept of deep time was introduced in the 18th century, but it wasn't until the 1980s that American writer John McPhee coined the term "deep time" in his book Basin and Range. This exhibition, which contains 18 works by 15 artists, looks at the human implications of deep time through the lens of artists who bring together rational and intuitive thinking. Artists featured use a wide range of styles and media but share a common interest in the vast timescale. This exhibition explores the role of the artist in helping us imagine a concept outside the realm of human experience.

Artists featured are Chul Hyun Ahn, Alfredo Arreguin, Diane Burko, Alison Carey, Terry Falke, Arthur Ganson, Sharon Harper, the artistic team Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe, Rosalie Lang, David Maisel, the artistic team Semiconductor, Rachel Sussman, and Jonathon Wells.

Download the exhibition catalogue PDF

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