"Embryonic Landscapes" is Ariel Ruiz i Altaba's photographic collection produced since the late 1980s, in his career as a scientist and artist. In an era when the secrets of the human genome are beginning to be unravelled, this volume presents images that reveal morphologies and patterns of gene expression in embryos of species that share common developmental mechanisms with man, making of this work an introspective exploration of our very essence. Far from being scientific documents, the images shown here were composed for their aesthetic value. "Embryonic Landscapes" also presents essays by active scientists, painters, photographers, writers and philosophers that address questions concerning the photographs themselves, the similarities between art and science, the metaphors and realities of the photographic image, the individuality of the artist versus the anonymity of the scientist, and the poetry of embryogenesis. Thus, this book not only represents an inquiry about our nature but also about our thought.
The texts and essays that accompany the images are by, among others, Alain Prochiantz, Lennart Philipson, Lewis Wolpert, Antonio Garcia Bellido, Xavier Rubert de Ventos, Bill Vollman, Carter Hodgkin, John Berger, Victor Molina, Cecile Guilbert, Lawrence Weschler and Joan Fontcuberta. This title is also available in a Spanish language version, ISBN 84-95273-92-6.