Jenifer Wightman


Thanks to:

Center for Book Arts
Lee Marchalonis
Jana Duda















<Gowanus Jeni Wightman> <Jenifer Wightman Gowanus>

3 months of mud, photographed every couple of days and digitally printed

Bacteria living in the mud photosynthesize pigments, as the colonies grow or die, the color composition changes.
To see the original sculpture, go here.

Gowanus BoxSet

Clamshell box, Epson Color Prints, Vandercook Printing Press
Box: 8 5/8" x 9 1/4" x 1 1/8"
40 pages, artist proof
I build sculptural frames and fill them with site-specific mud, water, and microbes. Exposed to light, the microbes photosynthesize pigments. Single cells are invisible to the naked eye. However, as a species reproduces in its landscape, the collective masses of pointillist color create blocks of visible color. As one species uses up resources and releases wastes, a differently colored successor begins thriving on the wastes. Color indicates the transitions of cultures in a finite ecosystem of soil, water and sunlight.

While I make these ‘transforming colorfields’ from a variety of ecosystems, I present a clamshell box of time-lapse photographs taken of mud collected from the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site. Here, we witness that the underbelly of NYC is alive and thriving, metabolizing wastes to make a beautiful livelihood. To see the Gowanus canal mud, click here.

Other works with Mud

View, 2012
Transect, 2012
Winogradsky Rothko, 2004

Other 'book arts'

Addendum, 2014 to present
winning TITLE, 2015
tree, 2014