Current Shows
Most of this work is about destiny, about the way things physically shift toward some unseen future, the overlap of the pre-determined with the seemingly random, and the need to understand the direction of those changes. I think places and people carry their destinies, and sometimes a shape or an alignment of physical objects can embody the meaning we seek.

These images are parts--in two senses of the word. They're fragments of larger projects and they're images of lines where things diverge or converge, like splitting the red sea . . . always one foot out the door.

I'm interested in evidence of the push for advancement or knowledge or contentment. Some situations show it more forcefully than others. How unseen forces manifest themselves in physical objects becomes the subject matter: what's happened, what's left, what's changing, what we want to see in all of that, cause and effect, etc. It's the overlap between what we can and cannot control that forms the basis of this meaning.
Click HERE to read the conversation between Julie Fishkin and Seth Lower.
Seth Lower was born in OH in 1981. He received a BFA in photography from the University of Michigan in 2004 and worked as a journalist with the Associated Press, the Detroit Free Press, and the Detroit News before moving to California, where he currently resides. Lower received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2008. His work has been shown internationally, at venues including The Lab in SF and New Insights, a division of Art Chicago devoted to up-and-coming graduate students. He's also a recipient of an artist residency at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei, Taiwan, 2009.

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Land's End, San Francisco. Birthplace and final resting spot for the tanker ships Lyman Stewart and Frank H. Buck.

The ships were forged in the same shipyard in San Francisco, both travelled around the world, and both wrecked on these same rocks in heavy fog. Pieces of both ships remain here (visible at left is the engine block of the Lyman Stewart). The latter was named after Lyman Stewart, who, after striking it rich off oil, co-produced The Fundamentals, the publication that formed the basis of the fundamentalist Christian movement. Frank H. Buck was a democrat and fruit rancher from Vacavlle, CA.
On Saturday, October 6, I had dinner with a close friend in Potrero Hill. Somehow the topic of portraiture came up in conversation and I happened to mention a picture of myself as a boy wearing a raccoon t-shirt. A few hours later, a difficult thing happened with my friend that caused me to question my level of engagement with my own life.

In the morning I drove to Pacifica to go surfing, which was at the time probably my greatest fear, to clear my mind of the previous night's events. When I got to the beach I saw an old man wearing exactly the same raccoon shirt I had mentioned the previous night.

An hour later, as I went into the water, the hillside surrounding the beach caught fire. Airplanes circled and dropped flame retardant red dust as little yellow men watched. The smoke was still rising as I left.

I drove straight home and parked in front of my apartment building. As I stepped to the curb I noticed someone speeding toward me at about 70mph in a white sedan, revving the engine and blowing through stop signs. The window was smashed out and, as he passed me, I saw that the driver's face was totally covered with blood. He looked over his shoulder in horror and quickly tore around the corner and out of sight. Then everything was silent.

I discovered later that the man was a parolee who had fled from police and was shot, presumably in the face, at the corner of 23rd Avenue and Pacheco Street. After driving through the Outer Sunset, he abandoned his car on the 100 block of Caine Street and escaped on foot.

In trying to make sense of these events I've revisited the sites involved and made a number of drawings, recreations, and interpretations. I feel that it's important for me to become an active participant in not just collecting these experiences but in processing them and using them to find other patterns and synchronicities in my life. In the absence of any palpable underlying meaning, simply responding to these places and experiences is the best way I could find to apply a personal and conscious structure to the uncontrollable.