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international photography annual 1 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Alison Carey
Chicago, Illinois

Columbia College Chicago, Assistant Professor



page 50-53

detail image


My work explores earth's uncharted territories; in my studio I construct landscapes of the ancient past as well as landscapes that may exist in the possible future. I use scientific research to inspire the creation of locations that are absent from human history, recollection and experience.

The photographs in INPHA are from the series New Kingdoms, which depicts a future Earth where humans have altered the course of evolution by introducing synthetically grown organisms into the environment. This aftermath of biotechnology takes place in a post human era where man-made life forms have adapted to the natural world. Genetically engineered beings have infiltrated the Earth's surface developing new habitats and ecosystems within the landscape.

The sculptures in these dioramas were created to be photographed and are made from a combination of flesh like materials that are inorganic or no longer living. These entities are without medical purpose and are benign in their existence. Contrary to this approach, there is the potential to use tissue engineering for unorthodox purposes. Particularly unsettling is the thought that someday it may be possible to construct autonomous, functioning "beings" that are able to survive outside the controlled facilities of a research laboratory.

As the entities in these photographs colonize the terrain, the evolution of these unique species‚ usher our planet into a new biological epoch in the history of life. Through cycles of hybridization, reproduction, mutation, and extinction, survival of the fittest plays out in these scenes.



born: 1966, Hartford, Conneticut


University of New Mexico, MFA, 2005
Central Connecticut State University, MS in Art, 2001
School of Visual Arts, BFA, 1988

selected awards/honors

Faculty Development Grant, Columbia College Chicago, 2009
Junior Artist-in-Residence Award, Oregon School of Art & Craft, Portland, Oregon, 2007
Top 50 Photographers, Critical Mass 2006, Photo Lucida, Portland, Oregon, 2006
Roswell Artist-in-Residence Fellowship, Roswell, New Mexico, 2005

selected publications

Harper's Magazine; "Findings," January Issue, p.80, 2012
Kuanas Photo Recycled 2009, Nine Lessons of Photography;  p. 50-53 & 112, 2009
The Art & Artifice of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe; p. 12-13, 21-22 & 28-29, 2007
Roswell Museum and Art Center; Alison Carey: Ghost Craters, Exhibition catalog, 2006

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Griffin Museum of Photography: New Kingdoms, Winchester, MA, 2011
Michael Mazzeo Gallery: Organic Remains of a Former World, New York, NY, 2007
Roswell Museum of Contemporary Art: Ghost Craters, Roswell, NM, 2006
New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science: Organic Remains of a Former World, Albuquerque, NM, 2005  

selected group shows

Rayko Photo Center: Not Kansas: photographers explore their own worlds, San Francisco, CA, 2012
University of New Mexico Art Museum: Reconsidering the Photographic Masterpiece, Albuquerque, NM, 2012
Museum of Contemporary Photography: Our Origins, Chicago, IL, 2011
Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries, Wright State University: Reflections on Darwin, Dayton, OH, 2009



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