Narrative Microscopy Lab, 2014
In this project, I explore the idea of truth in the created narrative, and the experts we seek to validate our interpretations. Artists and scientists both investigate the world to tell the story of how we came to be and belong. Scientists look through a microscope at specimens abstracted from their original form to find meaning in their structure, creating a narrative from what is seen by determining relationships to other known information. When artists look at work, we similarly weave a narrative by investigating the formal elements combined with the instinctual or emotional response. Persistent truths in science or art are largely determined through peer review. Narratives, art and otherwise, are told and retold and championed as the truth until questioned or seen in a new light.
Using seminal personal photographs to tell the story of my family, I created an array of slides, assembled as micro-images. Viewers were invited to enter the Narrative Microscopy Lab and view the slides under the microscope, reinterpreting the abstracted qualities, recording and categorizing their own meaning in a logbook. By allowing others to categorize the “specimen” in forced abstraction, I opened up the narrative of my family to an interpretation not considered, questioning the biased and linear contextual category that I originally designated.