Los Angeles-based artist Aspen Mays uses science as a lens to explore the vexing and unanswerable questions of life: Questions about the the limits of knowledge, the nature of existence and feelings of cosmic loneliness. Many of Aspen's projects are realized with the help of scientists and other experts. She worked with the Adler planetarium in Chicago to send a lawnchair and a digital camera up to the edge of Earth's atmosphere. For another project called Sun Ruins she hung out with astrophysicists at an observatory in Chilie and made work using discarded prints and negatives she found in their abandoned darkroom.
Emotion Week - What’s really more important--reason or emotion?
For the last 10 years, photographer Rachel Sussman has been traveling the world to photograph the oldest living things on the planet. All the organisms in Rachel's photographs are more than 2000 years old, and among her subjects are a 9000 year old Swedish Spruce tree, a 2500 year old carnivorous fungus, and 5000 year old Antarctic moss. Other photographs show us organisms whose lifespans are hard for us to contemplate. A colony of Aspen trees -- over 80,000 years old -- was around during the time of the Neanderthals. Then there's the Bacteria living in the Siberian permafrost that pre-dates the human race. It was originally discovered by biologists looking for clues to life on other planet. They suspect the bacteria to be about half a million years old.