Robert C. Beck & Sarah Max Beck
Robert C. Beck
B. 1974Winter Park, FL
Robert C. Beck is a visual artist exploring complex life based processes and media. His work seeks to define how human centric ecosystems balance with the greater biome of life on Earth.
Beck’s fine art background started with a concentration in printmaking at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida; then drawing and painting at the Lyme Academy of Fine Art, Old Lyme, Connecticut. He was a master printer for the University of Central Florida’s fine arts press, Flying Horse Editions for ten years. His work appears in the collections of museums, as well as public and private collections, including the city of Winter Park; the Morse Museum of American Art; the Museum of Florida Art; Rollins College and the Timucua Arts Foundation.
He currently co-operates an urban bio-art research project, studioHydrostatic, with his partner, Sarah Max Beck, in Brooklyn, NY.
Sarah Max Beck
B. 1984 Tacoma, WA
Brooklyn based installation bioartist; came of age in the steamy, verdant tangle of central Florida on the family citrus/cattle ranch; holds a sculpture BFA from UCF. Awards and exhibits include Altrusa award; OMA Florida Prize; Urban Glass, Agnes Varis Art Center; LANDSCAPES, BFP Creative. Started a national campaign for donations of plastic bags for tapestry work. Co-created the interactive installation, The Rooftop and co-founded NYC urban permaculture bioart lab, studioHydrostatic with partner, Robert C. Beck.
Electric Lifesaver Dino Blood
In Addition to Permission: Electric Lifesaver Dino Blood II
These are some of the things that we are thinking about.
Human-centric ecosystems are not a new concept. They are as old as human settlements really, but in our more recent history, they have become so human-centric that planetary biodiversity has been reduced to an apocalyptic state. A seemingly slow apocalypse that, in the grand scheme of the timeline of life on Earth, isn’t actually slow at all. Our work asks the question of how humans can best become probiotics for this organism we call a planet and change our current relationship as pathogens. Using a mix of high and low materials, scavenged wood and hand-blown glass, to name a few, Sarah and Robert build installations that filter human urine in recirculating water systems to grow food and medicine. This is a commentary on the necessity of providing for our needs as a species in a holistic way; the more consideration we have for other species and food systems, and the more room on the planet we can make for biodiversity, the more stable and productive the entire system becomes. The artists propose that our current trajectory as a species on the future timeline of Earth is easily traced out in front of us if one references the effects of a bacterial infection or parasitic infestation in any host organism: the host’s immune system is triggered and a number of defenses are put into action to cleanse the organism and bring things back to balance. The forests and oceans are the lungs of this planet. The soil is the skin and the digestive system, detoxing and protecting and culturing a healthy biome. Wetlands are the liver, the kidneys. One could argue that the earth is running a fever and we are the bugs it needs to kill. But what if? What if something as simple as building the soil was enough and something as simple as compost was allowed to do its thing and remediated all toxins from the greater biome? What if enough humans partnered with the earth’s existing “immune system” in a way that carried the rest of them along as well? What if probiotics have a conscious choice.