Hughen/Starkweather • Shifting Shorelines
In their ongoing project Shifting Shorelines, Hughen/Starkweather explore locations where water meets the land, and how these areas have and will change due to human and natural forces. The artists research shoreline areas through scientific and numerical data, current and historic maps and photographs, and personal interviews with local residents and others who are invested in a place, including cartographers, fishermen, farmers, marine biologists, educators, botanists, historians, geologists and storytellers. Using the collected data and stories, the artists reinterpret the narrative of a landscape, creating new and unexpected ways to view a place, its histories, and possible futures. In the works, the artists move beyond ubiquitous images and facts about climate change -- the artworks do not offer solutions, but in exploring intricate and nuanced complexities of a place, hope to prompt new questions. By including hints of recognizable topographies, landforms, built structures, and data systems in the artworks, the artists bridge data, memory, oral history, and the history of landscape in visual art.
Works from this series have been and will be shown at the Public Policy Institute of California (2015), the University of San Francisco's Thacher Gallery (2016), and the Bolinas Museum (2017). For more about their project mapping the Pacific Ocean -- Adjacent Shores at USF -- click here. Selene Foster's article about the series for Art Practical can be read here.
Hughen/Starkweather is comprised of San Francisco artists Jennifer Starkweather and Amanda Hughen. Their work explores the layers, complexities, built systems, and natural movements of specific locations. They begin by researching a place using historic and current maps, data, photos, and personal interviews. The resulting artworks are abstract, but contain visible traces of the source materials, revealing forms unique to the location.