Bad Water / 320 East Churchwell Ave. February 12 - March 25th
Justin Chance, Cameron Cameron, Tristan Higginbotham
This might be a fact or a fiction: that butterflies & moths understand their sense of time through the beat of their wings. The same-but-different way that we have come to understand a minute by a hand ticking on a clock, or a second as it scrolls by on the timer of a phone. It’s 11:37am– Sitting at my desk while writing, I lean down to flutter my eyelashes against my pointer finger, butterfly kisses; own set of wings. Each lash rustles:
Frrrr frrrrr ssss ssss sss
and I consider how many more moments there could be in a day if this constant fluttering dictated my temporal senses.
Serendipity Trail opens in the beginning of February; the start of a generation of Monarch butterflies’ migratory flight up into the southern United States where, in effort to aid population recovery, monarch enthusiasts have begun to captively rear and release the butterflies. Amateur naturalists and climate-anxiety fueled children's birthday parties with the honest adoration for the insect have doomed them; those bred in simulated outdoor conditions lose their innate sense of orientation towards the South.
It’s 2:42pm– I watch videos of butterflies attached to simulated flight machines that hope to awaken their ingrained compass, another titled “butterfly wings flapping sound” and “the SOUND of millions of monarch butterflies” hoping to phonetically spell it out for this text. But unlike the sharp ticking of a clock or the harsh buzzer of an alarm, in trying to imitate the sound under my breath almost nothing comes out. The sensation is closer to the sound of sand slipping through your fingers or the wind whistling through long hair than any spoken language or understanding of time.
Frrrr frrrrr ssss ssss sss
Serendipity Trail considers ideas of distance, seasonality, work, hobby, life cycles & generational history. Time that can both be intertwined with, and totally disconnected from, the sense of time of a butterfly, or a moth, or a bird, or maybe the person closest to you. In this departure from a linear, anthropocentric understanding of time, fact and fiction become as blurry as the flitter of a wing. In Tristan Higginbothams’ sculptures; found wood, seed pods, bird eggs and shells bond together using a variety of adhesives– including a lard-based suet–becoming collaged masses oriented around the practice of enrichment “by which an animals core environmental comforts and needs are provided via an echoing of and slight mimesis of nature”. Guided by the experience of looking, walking, and holding; Cameron Cameron’s images & objects call attention to “those non-domesticated creatures whose lives intersect more intimately with our own: spiders in the shower, ants at the picnic table, hornets in the corner of the porch. Insects are vital pollinators and recyclers of ecosystems, the foundation of the food web everywhere. If the whole insect world went missing, that loss of abundance could alter us irreparably”. Cameron interrogates how one’s relationships to bugs, nature and place corresponds with the love and loss of the day-to-day. Reflecting on the complicated notion of time, history, natural history stewardship and the archive; Justin Chance’s 35mm series of snapshots of public and private spaces at the Field Museum in Chicago and wet & needle felted quilt asks how different understandings of time affects value systems and legacies placed upon cultural, material and natural objects.
Justin Chance (b. 1993, New York, NY) is an artist, writer and co-founder of the Collaborative Center for Storm, Space & Seismic Research and has held solo exhibitions with Smart Objects, Los Angeles, CA and Tuesday, Richmond VA and has been included in group exhibitions with Downs & Ross, New York NY, tilling, Montreal CA, Ginny on Fredricks, London UK, Fonda, Leipzig, Germany; Housing, Miami, FL; Underground Flower at James River Park, Richmond, VA; Three Four Three Four, Brooklyn, NY; Gern en Regalia, New York, NY; Shoot the Lobster, New York, NY; Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, NY; Lock Up International, London, United Kingdom; NY; Institute of Contemporary Art Baltimore, Baltimore, MD; Smart Objects, Los Angeles, CA; and May 2000, Chicago, IL. Chance holds a BA in Visual & Critical Studies and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He lives and works in New York, NY.
Cameron Cameron (b. 1991) was raised in Texas in Lives in Los Angeles, CA. She received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin (UT) in 2014, attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2017, and received her MFA from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2018. She is a founding and contributing member to MATERIAL GIRLS. She currently teaches high school Photography at Campbell Hall School in Los Angeles.
Tristan Higginbotham (b. 1996) is a multidisciplinary from her Tennessee Mountain Home. Currently she maintains a studio practice in Brooklyn, NY and rehabilitates birds four days a week at the Wild Bird Fund. Tristan received her BFA from Watkins College in 2018. She participated in the NYC Audubon Governors Island residency in 2019, the Stoveworks residency in 2021, and is an advocate for Bird-Safe Glass.