Peter Happel Christian

Peter Happel Christian

Work from Weights and Measures.

“Weights & Measures is a non-linear exploration of social relationships with the natural world. Like a pendulum, our disconnect from nature swings from points of certainty to points of ambiguity on a daily basis. In this project, I regularly stage objects or situations to investigate notions of scenery, wilderness, and the still-life. Through these observations and interventions, I work to reveal, fictionalize and question “nature” as a geographic locale, as a romantic ideal, and as a socio-political construct. As much as I am inspired by phenomena of the natural world and find great value in being outside, I focus on the observation that our everyday relationship with nature is predominantly one of mediation, physical distance and cognizant remove.

A constant in this work is my exploration of the ways in which a photograph can be extended beyond a flat surface and mutate between different modes of cultural connotation. I consciously blend color and black and white photographs of various sizes with other media to reflect my process of questioning how empiricism, mediation and cognition combine to define a person’s experiences in the world. In this work, I am interested in qualifying my varied experiences in the natural environment as a set of relations between disparate cognitive and sensory events–where my perceptions eclipse the ground under my feet.” – Peter Happel Christian

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