Art to Benefit Arts Letters & Numbers

A Massive Prominence. Solar Dynamics Observatory, 6 December, 2010

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By Michael Benson, 2012 (data acquired 2010). 37.5” x 37.5''. Ultraviolet photograph. Digital Chromogenic Print.

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Michael Benson's work focuses on the intersection of art and science. An artist, writer, and filmmaker, in the last decade Benson has staged a series of increasingly large-scale shows of planetary landscape photography in the US and internationally. Benson takes raw data from planetary science archives and processes it, editing, compositing, and then ‘tiling’ individual spacecraft frames, producing seamless large-format digital C prints of landscapes currently beyond direct human experience. He is also an award-winning filmmaker, with work that straddles the line between fiction and documentary film practice. In Predictions of Fire and other films, staged studio scenes and animated sequences alternate with straight documentary material. Benson has contributed to many magazines and newspapers, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, and Rolling Stone. He is currently using a scanning electron microscope at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York City, to focus on natural design at sub-millimeter scales for a project titled "Nanocosmos". Michael Benson is a Fellow of the New York Institute of the Humanities, a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Media Lab, and a Weizmann Institute of Science Advocate for Curiosity.