Linda Alterwitz is an interdisciplinary artist with diverse interests in the fields of medical research and the natural environment. As part of her investigations that focus on the boundaries between art and science, she incorporates scientific images within her photographs (derived from cutting edge technology) with photographs of the landscape. By combining elements of both creative and scientific elements within each frame, her work provokes a feeling of curiosity and wonderment.
Inspired by experimentation with diverse materials and processes, Alterwitz incorporates both traditional and new media techniques. Guided by current technology, her creative process often incorporates images derived from X-rays, CT, PET, sonogram, fMRI diagnostic imaging, thermal imagine, or informational grids sourced from the results of medical testing.
The photographs from the series Just Breathe (2013- ) document human life on a scientific and emotional level. Represented within a wall installation of what appears to be a large star field in a night sky are actually unique individual human portraits. Through Alterwitz’s process, she documents the movement of each person’s breath as it effects the visual oscillation of the stars above. Each portrait is captured by resting her camera on the participant’s chest and pointing the camera up to the sky for a 30 second exposure. Like a fingerprint, each portrait possesses unique properties that are reflected by varying factors such as weather, ambient light, gps coordinates, and each person’s unique inhalation and exhalation of breath, giving reference to a microcosm of human life on earth. Simple instructions are given to each participant before the portrait session begins “lie still and just breathe.”
Alterwitz was the recipient of the Nevada Arts Council Visual Artist Fellowship. Her work has been published in Smithsonian Magazine, Orion Magazine, The New Statesman, among others. She has exhibited her work in both traditional exhibition and site-specific installations in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, Israel and Poland.
Alterwitz lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada.