The human brain is fascinating, extraordinarily complex, and mysterious. Imagine if you will a vast system of tiny stems connecting neurons- allowing you to move, to create memories, to think, to feel.
We recently read an article in the New York Times about a scientist named Sebastian Seung whose quest is to map the connectome, or in other words, diagram the 100 trillion connections between the neurons of the brain. Seung discusses the ins and outs of the project, but he also shares his struggles as a cartographer of the brain. Mapping the brain to such an extreme degree is meant with much resistance from fellow peers in the neuroscience community. Funding is hard to come by and at the end of the day, Seung admits that mapping even a fruit fly's brain is still ten years away. Still, Seung persists on continuing his project asserting that success is never achieved in just one generation. He strives to live his life in the presence of mystery. (This sounds like a lot of artists we know, including ourselves).
These thoughts of a pioneering scientist made us want to dig further into the visual components of brain maps. We must say, the animated computer imagery is quite stunning. Viewing image after image of the brain's stems and branches made us think about the extensive system of a tree's branches. Now this massive and mysterious thing of nature looked more and more human. The barren winter branches appeared strikingly similar to the extensive system of stems and branches that connect the neurons of the brain. Suddenly, we felt like arbors with the gift of mobility.
Our first official installation was saturday night at Lake Williams in York, PA. In reflection of the brain and it's aesthetic similarities to a tree's branch system, we chose to light this tree near the lake's edge.
Although the focus of this installation was focused on the aesthetics of the brain in relationship to the naked branches of the tree, we also couldn't help documenting the stunning landscape created by lighting this pack of trees near the lake's edge. We were fascinated by the inorganic nature of our lights paired with the atmosphere's organic lighting. This appeared to be a landscape of many brains!
Stay tuned- we are in Woodbury, CT and will be heading out to the famous Hogpen Hills Sculpture Farm for our next light installation. Cheers!!