"ONCE WE HAVE GRASPED THAT WIND, EARTH, AND WATER ARE ALL PARTS OF ONE DYNAMIC SYSTEM OF WHICH HUMANKIND IS ALSO A MEMBER, WE WILL BETTER UNDERSTAND NOT JUST OUR TERRAQUEOUS PLANET BUT ALSO OURSELVES."
- JOHN R. GILLIS, THE HUMAN SHORE
ONE DYNAMIC SYSTEM // ODS is a collection of projects by Justin Levesque that begins with Iceland, ships, and Maine; a dynamic system of business, culture, history, and humans. Exploring the system revealed more systems. Oceans, coasts, and the North Atlantic. Transportation, supply chains, and global ice. Civics, conspiracies, and science. Economic development, the Arctic, and forgotten histories.
Each discrete yet inevitably cognate.
From the obtuse institution of legal code to the ocean's ebbing and flowing tides, systems often appear impenetrable, rigid, and unfathomable in size, policy, and procedure. But systems theory itself, as a methodology, unexpectedly creates room for possibility, suggestion and speculation and demands our best guess when considering moments in a never-ending series of events.
"The focus is not on finding precise solutions to the equations defining the dynamical system (which is often hopeless), but rather to answer questions like "Will the system settle down to a steady state in the long term, and if so, what are the possible steady states?", or "Does the long-term behavior of the system depend on its initial condition?"¹
STATEMENT // While the process in which I make pictures most closely resembles that of a photographer, I prefer to describe the outcomes as image-based works. That is to say, the form an image takes must be considered to ensure its intended function, allowing for an interdisciplinary approach to my practice.
Utilizing a dynamic systems approach, I seek out access points into overlapping communities and complex relationships to offer careful observations and dedicated participation. The acute analysis of images, semiotics, and their non-static impacts on communities aids me in this process.
It is always at these intersections where I look to make images and generate discourse. Despite however brief these spaces may sometimes be acquainted, they are the hidden places of complicated ideas where I provide tangible opportunities for interaction and engagement.
BIOGRAPHY // Justin is an interdisciplinary artist based in Portland, Maine. He received his BFA in Photography from the University of Southern Maine in 2010.
Invisible, conspicuous, complex, banal, corporeal, plastic systems.
Infinite, unforgiving, protective, frustrating, sacred, wild systems.
1. Boeing, G. (2016). Systems.