Neurovironment III is a part of my search on plants’ growth and architecture and how they can be matched via layers of their skin .plants have different layers of existence simultaneously and the idea of life as a multi-layer existence made me think of the skeleton, surface, and the floating structures. how trees transform free space around them to existence and float in the air is my question in these artworks and the skeleton as a growth direction which is formed based on the tendency of growth and the external forces and seasonal effects like snow which forms bends and curves in the growth lines.
Goethe labels two kinds of tendencies to grow in a tree, as he explains, one is vertical which is related to the male qualities of a tree and the other one is spiral and related to the female quality of a tree which is concealed during the development of plant but predominates during blossoming and fruiting.
I use the medium of environmental installation and drawing to experience gradual sensing of the environment. Via sensing of growth direction with lines and textures, I can make a connection with soil and earth while allowing free space to flow in my mater and make voids.
In the lowest level of the jungle canopy, small trees with low light wait some decades for the death of another tree for an open space in the ground and light to grow .during these decades they get stronger and stronger for future life in a limited space.
Do individuality and subjectivity exist in trees as a part of an interconnected system?
Domination is not their priority as it is among human beings. Vegetal life and mater can transform into other forms of life very fast through microorganisms, soil, and the ecosystem via the process of death and rebirth.
trees are connected to each other via their roots and share water and nutrition via rooting systems all over a forest or jungle. Via this connection, even a tree with stony soil and low water absorption have almost the same size as one with nutritious and well-absorbing soil. Also, fungus as a guest delivers a kind of fast connection between trees and it’s a sensing network with much higher speed which is spread everywhere usually hidden in leaves. Also, trees communicate via exuding different smells as another fast communication solution. Trees mainly use this kind of connection as biological neurons that exist in a group.
Can we call this multi-layer interwoven system a brain? and how we can re-arrange our growth with this brain?
1-The secret life of plants; Peter Tompkins ,Christopher bird
2-The hidden life of trees; Peter Wohlleben
This collection was formed based on the artist’s reaction to an absence of sensors bonding man and nature. Sensors that would be able to instantaneously monitor nature and transform information received into parametrical statistics to establish a basis for decision making. Surfaces made from flexible structures and light materials such as wood, metal screens, and linen are reminiscent of birds’ nests, cocoons of insects, and/or spider webs, forming flexible homes within the existing environmental setting. Man’s primitive homes made from tree barks and fillers such as clay and plaster inspired me as well in design and environmentally flexible models against modern constructions that are more resistant and rigid in adapting to nature. A network of orderly pieces of wood bound together has been wrapped around the frames, resembling a halo and acting as a medium to connect the interior with the exterior. The exterior encompasses a disjointed and hollow space while interior frames are quite smooth and polished, with narrow grooves directing one to discover the interior of the art piece.
Some other pieces of art display a rougher and less orderly texture, made from natural raw materials such as cotton, bioadhesives, hay, wood, and leaves; the originality in the raw material reflects nature’s simplicity and mortality. The paintings are products of a continuous process of destruction, abrasion, battery, and stuffing, resulting in their amalgamation with the physical surface beneath them in such a way that has them carved or torn in some areas. Just like physical pieces, drawings contain two main visual layers. One is the linear layer that contains the frames and the other is the encasing layer that forms the texture and wraps around the frames. The layer containing the texture is at times placed on top of the frames and at others vice versa. The structure of frames, per SE, becomes so prominent at times that it bulges out of the painting in bold lines and, occasionally, the whole piece is covered by a thin layer of paint very much like a piece of cloth that covers a structure.
The creation of these works has been for me, similar to a physical struggle wherein, layers are created and then destroyed numerous times as if they tend to destroy each others’ ideas and at times extend very much like pieces of string, crossing and occasionally tangling in each other. Representation of such interaction of ideas will be the network of layers bound together by a superficial transformation of shapes, density, expansion, and adhesion of the material. The superficial and encompassing halo symbolizes language and law. Through the entangling of various aspects of human ideas and mass interests in the surroundings, an intricate network of shoulds and should-not is created symbolized by human language and law. The strands of this web have linked people and objects, and the internet of things is a modern manifestation of this.
Each of the links transfers a message within a fraction of a second, through the connections that it makes. We are faced with a global network of information transfer, in which -within moments-comprising elements impact, correct, and re-arrange one another and I call it the collective mind. The creation, correction, and re-arrangement of information are characteristics of a meta-human mind quite similar to how information from the New York Stock Exchange market may affect the population of Pandas, or whose volatility may create or destroy many companies.
Man is neither at the center nor in the margins of this bonding. The bonds are like an electric current constantly circulating in the collective mind of the metahuman and connections are what fundamentally intellectualize the collective mind. Shouldn’t we then, instead of focusing on man’s needs in the era of communications, install environmental sensors in the modern communicative network (the collective mind)? Personal concerns of the artist: There is a logical relationship between CO2 emission and its use, and every individual can balance them in his/her personal life. For instance, an average Iranian’s daily commuting produces an amount of CO2 equivalent to the annual emissions of two hundred 40-year-old trees. Do any of us Iranians ever plant as many trees in our lifetime? Have we ever given thought to these figures? When putting firewood in the fireplace to warm ourselves, do we ever think of having to return as many trees back to nature? How many trees will it take to compensate The CO2 we are producing is equivalent to the amount of CO2 emitted by trees and is our existence merely detrimental to nature? Do we ever think that the goods we produce or cause the production of, should be recyclable? These are questions worth pondering, in the intensely consumer-based society of Iran, which is headed, at tremendous speed, towards depleting environmental resources. In the more developed countries, this bonding has partially, been converted into product standards, the implementation of which enables consumers and governments to monitor the emission of CO2. There have also been standards set for the amount of exploitation of forest resources, making products abiding by them more attractive and popular to consumers It seems that our beloved Middle East has fallen into a heavy slumber.
Amin Shojai’s structures, volumes, installations, and paintings can only be defined in terms of their relation to Earth. In Greek mythology, Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life, the primal Mother Earth goddess, the symbol of femininity and fertility, and the creator of everything we know today as nature. The sky, the land, waters, plants and animals, and even natural forces such as wind, storms, and quakes, are all considered manifestations of the generative quality of this goddess. Because it rings true to our ears and is in harmony with our desire to return to nature, this belief has endured in our collective consciousness. The archetype of Gaia and the myths and legends formed around it have been a great source of inspiration in arts, philosophy, literature, and even science for centuries of western thought. English scientist, James Lovelock, formulated the Gaia hypothesis in 1965 based on this myth. He proposed that living and non-living parts of the Earth form a complex interacting system that can be thought of as a single organism. So rivers work as the veins, jungles as the lungs, and oceans as the heart of the planet Earth. Magnetic fields are its nervous system, constantly charged from the inside and the outside, ie the universe. All elements that are found either as solid forms or gas, in the air, soil, or water, are continually circulating in orbital electronic circuits both inside and on the surface of the Earth in order to sustain life on the planet. Contrary to Darwin’s theory of evolution, this hypothesis does not consider life and living creatures as passive and static, but as parts of a more general mechanism that influences the ecosystem. With his constant preoccupation with nature and the environment, Amin Shojaei has created works that recreate the recollection of a more affable life on our blue planet. His structures rise out of the ground and move up into the space and sometimes expand horizontally on the surface; both movements symbolize a sense of growth. If trees and plants ‘growing out of the ground in search of life is reminiscent of birth, regeneration, and wood, or the trees’ dead body, in order to remind us of destruction. That is why his structures have an ephemeral quality. Installing fragile lattices in the solid wooden volumes, makes the audience doubt their durability, or displacement and reconstruction. This “un-structure” is at the core of our industrialized life. The artist is trying to remind us of this annoying dichotomy and this problematic fear and hope. Believing in the existence of invisible forces that, as a network of peripheral nerves, sustain and ensure the survival of a super-organism such as Earth, the artist puts the mechanisms of some of his works in relation to a network that looks like a nervous system. On another level, there is also the metaphor of “neuro-environment,” emphasizing the continuity of the interwoven network of urban life as a constructed nervous system that controls and governs the citizens in a cold architectural environment that holds them back away from nature. Entangled in this complex network, the artist wisely endeavors to engage not only our sight but also our sense of touch and smell by using the odor of natural elements such as wood. In his second solo show, Amin Shojai exhibits a coherent series of works that is an inevitable sequel to his previous works. “Hamid-Reza Karami” Autumn of 2017