Landscape of Inquiry: Biosphere 2 #0853

Landscape of Inquiry: Biosphere 2 #0853

Joseph Labate

24" x 30" 

Archival Photograph on Cotton Rag Paper


These photographs made in 2020 examine the “landscape” of the research being conducted at Biosphere 2. Biosphere 2 is an American Earth system science research facility located in Oracle, Arizona. It was originally constructed between 1987 and 1991 and has been owned by the University of Arizona since 2011. Contained within Biosphere 2 are six distinct model zones/landscapes – Rainforest, Ocean, Savanna, Mangrove, Desert and Model City. These fabricated zones offered an opportunity to make photographs in a wide range of landscapes that are themselves clearly defined within perimeters and allowed me explore the photographic landscape genre. The research at the Biosphere is centered around climate change – evaluating it, determining its effect on our planet and searching for ways to minimize and adapt to it. Arguably, climate change is the most difficult challenge we are having to now face. The intention of these photographs is to make more visible the research that is being done at the Biosphere 2 and its value to all of us who live on this planet. And by extension, to also recognize the value in all scientific inquiry.