The conceptual photographs of Connie Samaras (b. 1950) depict what the artist terms “speculative landscapes” — sites that are in the process of realizing specific visions of the future: the construction of Dubai, a lesbian retirement community, a corporate space launch facility in the remote desert.
For Radio Imagination, Samaras focused on the Huntington Library as the repository of Butler’s papers, and the links between the Huntington Gardens — an unparalleled collection of plant specimens — and Butler’s fascination with the arcana of botany. Using a large-format camera, Samaras photographed the gardens through enlarged transparencies of images from the archive. Handwritten passages of Parable of the Sower, snapshots from the Amazon (where Butler researched her Xenogenesis trilogy), and other fragments are superimposed on the Huntington’s manicured landscape.