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Katie Ammons

Growth is a project inspired by the travertine stone used for the architectural façade of the Getty Center. As a geologist and artist, I am fascinated by the crystal formations, fossil preservations, and topography of the stone. Travertine forms where hot springs bubble to the earth's surface. The hot water emerges laden with carbon dioxide and dissolved limestone. Now on the surface, the carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. As a result, the limestone precipitates from the water, laying down minute crystals over the bed surface of the spring. The limestone coats the communities of algae, bacteria, and detritus that are found on the bed surface, resulting in the varied topologies that are visible throughout the Getty's façade. The growth is slow—geologically slow—and difficult to pick out at first. The structure of the growth, though at first seemingly random, has a definite and natural order, one that transcends much of the chaos that surrounds our lives. This process is the genesis of the animation. My interest within the composition moves beyond my initial fascination with these structures to a study of attention. The eye can perceive minute changes in form; though we may not be able to pinpoint the exact change at first, we know that something is occurring, and the eye searches for the answer.