Commercial and fine art photographer Noah Sheldon recently shot Biosphere 2, the now dilapidated bio-architectural experiment located in the desert environs of Oracle, Arizona. The Natural History Museum-meets-Dubai enclave, the largest privately owned environmental research facility in the US, was owned not by a corporation, but one man. Ed Bass — the entrepreneurial son of a “multibilliondollar” Texas oil family — pumped $150 million into his laboratory in the late 1980s, equipping it with 3,800 species of plants and animals and a one million-gallon artificial sea before sealing four researchers inside for two years. What became a laughingstock of the life science field and the inspiration for a bad Pauly Shore movie was eventually sold to developers in 2007.
Sheldon, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from Columbia, has exhibited his “quietly ecstatic art” (according to Times critic Roberta Smith) with D’Amelio Terras Gallery in Chelsea and Cherry and Martin in LA.
More reading on the Biosphere 2 at the New York Times.