THE TRANSVERSE PATH (or Nature's Little Secret) by Mike Slack
Reality is a web of concrete relations. The entities of the environment are merely knots in this web, and we ourselves are knots of the same sort. — Vilém Flusser
Clouds, electronics, fog, bugs, glass, cellophane, rust, weeds, waves, particles… Mike Slack delves into an overheated terrestrial ecosystem in The Transverse Path, surveying a luminous topography of monumental details and mundane vistas with cosmic curiosity. Transcendental in mood, Slack’s vaguely sci-fi photographs envision a sun-blasted wilderness of synthetic and organic stuff, all tangled together, flourishing and disintegrating on its own terms, as if engaged in an ageless negotiation (or flirtation?) just beyond our grasp. Where does nature end and its opposite begin? And where do people figure into this balance? Made primarily around the American southwest from 2011 to 2017, these vivid compositions — like a series of thought-bubbles in search of a narrative — are concise and direct, yet driven by an emotional ambivalence that hovers between stark environmental dread and calm intimate reverie.
Mike Slack lives and works in Los Angeles. His books include Walking in Place 1: New Orleans, Shrubs of Death, Ok Ok Ok, Scorpio, and Pyramids. His photographs are in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.