Julius von Bismarck is a Berlin-based artist who spent his youth in the desert landscape of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Through photography and sculpture, he investigates how nature is depicted and perceived. In a recent solo show at Marlborough Contemporary in New York, he exhibited a photograph he took in Venezuela of a lightning bolt striking a palm tree in a straight line that seems too fantastical to be real. In this first edition of Catalyst, von Bismarck, speaking via Skype from Berlin, narrates what led up to that pivotal moment and describes lightning’s place in his practice.