Art Wolfe: Earth is my Witness
In late 2013, I was sitting in a committee meeting at the Academy when my phone rang. I snuck a peek to see who it was only to see a Seattle-based phone number that I didn’t recognize. I didn’t answer it. After the meeting, I went out into the hall to find that the person had left me a voice message. I dialed into my box and heard the following message: “Hello Gary, this is Art Wolfe. I heard about the recent planetarium show you did with Florian Schulz, and I wondered if I could bounce some ideas off of you….” I couldn’t believe it. Art Wolfe was calling me! It turned out that we had a mutual friend who had attended Florian’s talk and told Art all about it.
A few hours later, I found myself sitting next to Art in the planetarium as he took in a private viewing of Florian’s full dome sequences. In the middle of the screening, I looked over to see how he was responding to it. He was sitting on the edge of his seat, not moving and with no facial expression at all. I started to think of what it must be like as an artist to see these images depicted in this way. This was a project of collaboration as the final image on the dome was about half the photographer’s and half our adaptation and extension to make the image work on a full dome environment. The audience loved it, but I could not help but wonder whether he would feel that it retained enough of the essence and intention of the artist?
As the lights came back up, I was prepared to show him the full production cycle of an image so he could see how we made this experience work. I called out to the tech to bring up the sequence and Art said “No. There’s no need.” My heart skipped a beat. He turned to me and said, with a very serious face, “It’s wonderful. I’m in…” and 20 minutes later we were sitting with the visualization producer in a meeting as Art explained that he had a new book coming out which covered his life’s work. He put a hard drive on the table that he said contained 10,000 images of which a couple 100 would end up in a book project called “Earth is my Witness” . He pushed the drive across the table and said: “do whatever you want, I trust you”. And a full dome show based on his life’s work for conservation was underway. See below for a description of the program we presented based on that effort.
Award Winning Conservation Photographer
Tuesday, October 14th 2014 – 7:00 PM in the Planetarium
For almost fifty years, world-renowned photographer Art Wolfe has been capturing the beauty of the planet’s stunning landscapes, wildlife, and cultures from every continent. In Earth Is My Witness, Wolfe presents an encyclopedic selection of his photography along with intimate stories about his encounters that exemplify his boundless curiosity about the world. From the rich sights and smells of the Pushkar Camel Fair to the moment when a polar bear and her cubs leave their arctic den, these images represent what Wolfe has lived for: the instants when circumstance, light, and subject miraculously collide to form an iconic photograph. Together, these images and the stories behind them explore the delicate interconnectivity of life across our planet. In this presentation we will immerse the viewer inside a sequence of Wolfe’s images presented on the Morrison Planetarium’s 75 foot all digital dome. You will experience a tour through the world’s great landscapes, wildlife and cultural festivities to get a sense of what it’s like to be Art Wolfe as he travels the globe making images of captivating moments in time. Book signing to follow.