Since the mid-1980s, the identical twins Mike and Doug Starn have been collaborating on conceptual photographs and installations. Often, they use images from nature—leaves, tree branches, and moths, for instance—to explore themes of circulation and connection.
In the summer of 2010, their temporary site-specific installation Big Bambú transformed the Metropolitan Museum’s rooftop into an evolving, interactive waveform made entirely of bamboo poles; a version of the piece later appeared at the 2011 Venice Biennial. Another work by the Starns, the mosaic, fused-glass and stainless steel installation See it split, see it change, is permanently on view at the South Ferry subway station.
The Starns have received numerous awards, including the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award for Fine Art Photography and two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. They have exhibited widely in the U.S. and abroad, with solo exhibitions at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., the Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal in Leiden, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, among many other institutions.