"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.
"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
Justin Levesque is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Portland, Maine. He received his BFA in Photography from the University of Southern Maine in 2010. Levesque is a Maine Arts Commission Artist Project Grant recipient (2015, 2017), and in 2015, was selected as one of thirteen emerging photographers under 30 in Maine by Maine Media Workshops + College's PhoPa Gallery. Levesque has exhibited throughout New England and nationally at Midwest Center for Photography in Wichita, KS; Terrault Contemporary in Baltimore, MD; and JanKossen Contemporary in New York City.
In 2015, he created an independent artist residency aboard an Eimskip container ship sailing from Maine to Iceland. In 2016 Levesque then installed a public art intervention in a shipping container about his residency with support from The Kindling Fund, an Andy Warhol Regional Regranting Program administered by Space Gallery.
In response to his work about Maine's emerging relationship to the North Atlantic and Arctic, he was invited to be a fellow of The Arctic Circle artist residency in Svalbard, just 10 degrees from the North Pole, in June 2017.
STATEMENT // Justin Levesque approaches his interdisciplinary practice with a consideration for the materiality and tradition of formal photography and its relationship to consumer technologies, digital aesthetics, objects, and systems. His work forms a connected visual network that’s preoccupied with the contemporary proliferation and consumption of images, feedback, and combinatory methods of picture-making in the evolution of populist visual language online.
Levesque participates, undermines, and manipulates within these forces to imagine the implications of an increasing digital experience. He confronts how their form takes shape within future, unknown possibilities and visualizes current shifts in cultural paradigm as they pertain to corporeal complexity, data as the new divine, spatial simulacrum, and the way a place thinks about another place.
1. Boeing, G. (2016). Systems.