About the Photographer

Seely, Christina

American, b. 1976

Christina Seely’s series Lux, titled after the system for measuring illumination, examines the disconnect between the immense beauty created by human-made light emanating from the earth’s surface and the environmental impact of the world’s wealthiest countries—evident as the brightest areas detected on a satellite map. The three regions most visible in NASA images are the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, which together emit approximately 45 percent of the world’s CO2 and, along with China, are the top consumers of electricity and other resources. Eventually, Lux will comprise photographs of the 43 brightest cities in these areas, but the project is less about the individual locations than their effective interchangeability and the global ramifications of consumption. Reflecting this, each of the images is titled simply Metropolis, accompanied by notation of the city's latitude and longitude.

Seely’s photographs explore the realities faced when dealing with the infrastructure of these urban environments and their excessive energy consumption, but she consciously takes an indirect approach to the subject. "I am interested in the dialectic between the surface documentation of the photograph and the complex reality that lies beneath the surface," she states, "how beauty can suggest the simple and ideal while both subtly reflecting and obscuring a darker more complicated truth."

Born in 1976 in Berkeley, CA, Seely received her BA from Carleton College (1998), a Post-Baccalaureate from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2001), and her MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Art and Design, Providence (2003). She is currently a lecturer at the California College of Arts in Oakland, California.