Pursuing Reality: Possibilities, Photocollages . Jo-Anne Green, et al. 2021
"The surface of the mind trembles without cease,
Like the surface of the waters,
And like the waters
It assumes the shape of those forces
That press upon it."
Roberto Calasso, "Ka." (1)
|"(Thought is) a material process whose content is the total response to memory, including feelings, muscular reactions and even physical sensations that merge with and flow out of the whole response... In this whole movement, content that was originally in memory continually passes into and becomes an integral feature of the environment, whole content that was originally in the environment passes into and becomes an integral feature of memory, so that... the two participate in a single process, in which analysis into separate parts... has ultimately no meaning." - David Bohm (2)
Pursuing Reality: Possibilities, is a series of photocollages and digital prints about patterns and networks in nature, including trees, mycelia, rivers and streams, and the human brain (neurons and Connectomes). It utilizes images found on the world wide web, social networks, Katie Holten's Irish Tree Alphabet — which spells out the Calasso quote above — and my own photographs, mostly taken at The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University; an interconnected series produced by an interconnected community.
The Arboretum is my favorite place in Boston, for walking, thinking, listening and seeing. I adore trees, but I also love the idea of their invisible symbiotic relationships with fungi and mycelia interacting beneath my feet. I’m fascinated by the subliminal workings of my senses and the underlying structures of all living things. John Berger emphasized that "the relation between what we see and what we know is never settled." (3) Trees hold time and time represents memory; so the Arboretum’s trees have "seen," "heard" and "felt" deep time. When wandering around the park, I feel time and space compressed into the living collection; I imagine the flow of chemicals and nutrients, the "heartbeats" of solid arboreal shapes, the birds and insects that inhabit and visit them, the relationships between micro and macro patterns across living systems, similar to our own bodies and the symbiotic "beingness" of ourselves in relational reciprocity with trees, and theirs with their mycorrhizal networks.
On November 7, 2020 I created a folder on my computer called "Possibilities," a collection receptacle for future artwork I may or may not get to create. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, which metastasized in 2017. The surgical, treatment and emotional trauma took a toll on me. My cancer is now in my bones. It's become even more painful for me to draw or paint. I eventually resolved to stand at my computer and create in Photoshop, using my own photographs and others' found online or emailed to me. (4)
Possibilities, seems to be of the zeitgeist. Donald Trump and Mike Pence have been replaced by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, both of whom use the word on a daily basis: somehow, my personal glimmer of hope has synchronized with the hope many of us are feeling for our country again.
|1. Quoted by Gretel Ehrlich in "Facing the Wave: A Journey in the Wake of the Tsunami," Pantheon, 2013, page 60.
2. Bohm, David. "Wholeness and the Implicate Order," Routledge, 2002, page 74.
3. Berger, John. "Ways of Seeing," BBC and Penguin, 1972. Quoted in "Introduction: ways of machine seeing," Azar, Cox, and Impett, AI & Society, Springer, retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-020-01124-6 on February 20, 2021.
4. Miscellaneous photographs from various online sources and emailed to me by my friend Lizi Brown.
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