Dust to Dust is a photographic diptych- on the left a photograph of a pile of gravel, and on the right a photograph of a very similar looking pile of gravel, sculpted from the same material, on the same spot of land, but rotated 135 degrees. Conception began with an observation about the way the sun traverses across the sky: that other than solar noon when the sun is the highest it will get, every other moment during the day has a twin moment when the height of the sun relative to the horizon is identical. From this observation I realized I could recreate a scene, including the light and shadows falling on it, by rotating an object and carefully timing my shots.
After selecting a site and material and finding a front-end loader operator I could work with, we got to work making the first pile. A radial map was drawn straight onto the ground using spray paint. A gravel mound was built and shaped on top. Referencing the map I had made I was able to draw a diagram of the footprint of the mound in its original position. The first photograph was made at 9:58 am the next day. The mound in its second incarnation was constructed using the footprint diagram and snapshots of the original mound as reference tools, first with heavy equipment, then with shovels and rakes and finally by hand. The second photograph was made at 4:04 pm one day after the first. Clouds had filled the sky all day but the sun broke about ten minutes before my shot, just in time. The entire process involved four trips to a site five hours east of Seattle.
I love thinking about how the material in this piece was used first to create one mound, then the second, and is now probably part of a road or the foundation of somebody’s house. In the same way the physical material used to make up my body is borrowed and someday will no longer belong to me. Same for you. Absolutely everything is temporary, and that is what this piece is about.