Richmond, Virginia, USA
STATEMENT OF ARTIST PRACTICE
As societies have evolved, so have our relationships and demands on the natural world, whether inside our homes or globally. My interest lies in making multidisciplinary artworks which address the reciprocal stories of human corruption and reliance on plants and our shared environment. The way farming and urban development has ordered the world and how it continues to shape us fascinates, humbles, and alarms me in equal measure.
My installations, time-lapse, and photographic works analyze historical developments in botany, plant science, plant consciousness, and how we consistently underestimate plants’ predominance and influence over humanity. Concurrently, my use of stop-motion animation allows me to represent the past, present, and future of landscapes and architecture. These works simulate paths of habitat change and deconstruct cultural and corporate practices such as tourism and industrial engineering.
Rob Carter creates multidisciplinary artworks concerning the history of human interaction with ecosystems. Installation, video, animation, and photographic works focus on historical developments in plant sciences, monetization of the natural world and our dependence on various fated plant species.
He received his BFA from Oxford University and an MFA in Studio Art from Hunter College in New York. He has shown his work internationally, with solo exhibitions at Art in General in New York, Galeria Arnés y Ropke in Madrid, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere in Rome, Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco and most recently at The Highpoint in Richmond, Virginia. He has also exhibited at König Galerie in Berlin, Centre Pompidou-Metz in France, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan, The Field Museum in Chicago, ICA in Philadelphia and Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
Carter’s videos have been selected for many screenings and festivals, including: award winner at Beijing International Short Film Festival in China (2018), winner of the Best Film award at Move Cine Arte in Venice/Sao Paulo/Paris (2018), 18th Japan Media Arts Festival in Tokyo, PUMA Films4Peace, worldwide screenings, and in the Creative Time/MTV collaboration, 44½, in Times Square, New York.
He has been awarded residencies and fellowships at numerous institutions including McColl Center for Art+Innovation in Charlotte, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, LMCC’s Workspace Program in New York, and Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation in Brooklyn. In 2010 he was the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.
Examples of Collage in Motion
A stop-motion animation compiled of postcards, photographs and video shot on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca. This famous island has a long and complex history of natural and societal evolution, and is remarkable for its blend of rustic farmland, chic resorts, and grimy low-budget tourism. This work represents the island through centuries past and its perceived future, chronicling physical changes and equally temporary visitations. Alterations include the impact of mass tourism as well as environmental change, such as common brush fires and the invasive Asian Palm Weevil that has been decimating palm trees – island symbol of beach leisure.
Benidorm, Spain, benefits from an extraordinarily sun-rich micro-climate. Using stop-motion animation, Benidorm transforms from sleepy fishing village to the vacationers mini-Manhattan visible today. Through photographic reconstruction and collage of past and present imagery, the video suggests that man has worshipped the sun here for thousands of years, and the buildings have evolved like plants, grown by the sun itself. In the end, this living town is transformed into something far more valuable than a tourist destination; it is a machine for harnessing light. It’s the ultimate solar power station, where energy value trumps that of beauty and pleasure.
This video, commissioned by ‘films4peace’, attempts to make sense of the layered history that lies within the town and landscape of Ebensee, Austria, site of the Ebensee Nazi concentration camp from 1943 to 1945, where unspeakable horrors and atrocities occurred. As opposed to the disquieting images we have of the camp’s liberation, Ebensee’s breathtaking landscape, especially Lake Traunsee, is peaceful and still, which creates a powerful emotional juxtaposition. Featuring time-lapse photography and stop-motion animation, this video uses imagery from a contemporary visit here to reanimate the place, and describes how the land has recovered its tranquility, but not its innocence.
Stone on Stone
This animation, uses the architectural language of High Gothic and Modernism to invent a contradictory history of their evolvement. The theme begins and ends with the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, NYC, and is contrasted with Le Corbusier’s La Tourette monastery, France. The video uses this anomalous but single-minded modernist vision as the foundation for a new emergence of Gothic expression, resulting in unified fantasy cathedral– akin to the building that the Church of Saint John the Divine might have aspired to become.
Metropolis is an abridged narrative history of the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, from the 18th century into an imagined hubristic future. Physically manipulated aerial images of the city are used to construct a stop-motion video animation, creating a landscape in constant motion. Made almost entirely from images printed on paper, the animation represents a sped up urban planners dream, but suggests the frailty of that dream, however concrete it may feel on the ground today.