Work often takes me to extreme places, such as the outer space-like vacuum of an electron microscope or the frozen seascape of McMurdo Sound. Such places harbor limitless riches in sight, sound, and experience. They should be the domains of dreamers, poets, and artists.
When slipping through the thick sea ice and descending to its underside, a profound loneliness always chills my heart. The thought that there is no other person in the entire Southern Ocean at that moment, compounded by the indescribable beauty of the icy aquatic space, defines the sublime to this man. Life sustained by a thin tube delivering air on demand. Life enabled by sophisticated under- and outerwear. Life viewed by a privileged scientist - a linear, analytical thinker, seeking a way to express this moment to others. A faithful rationalist who, for two decades, has extended his cold, wet hand toward the warmth of artists.
The Underside of Sea Ice
still frame of a Shawn Harper video
Glimpses of such underwater moments are portrayed in Werner Herzog's recent documentary, brilliantly captured by Henry Kaiser's lens. But the feeling I am trying to describe here is much more haunting. It is an isolation and a beauty like no other. I know intuitively that it is profound, even though I don't know what it is.
One day I hope to find an artist who understands this feeling and will help me express it. An artist who will help me share it with the world.