Monday, October 06, 2008

317. Three Introductory Images/Gifts I Provide to Summarize My Existence

Biomathematika Sunflower. Taken in Summer of 2002. My father's giant sunflower by the garage. My father was the PA or Photography Assistant, propping the flower more upright because it was collapsing upon its own weight. I took the picture with a measly Olympus Camedia camera. Usually the images are off-color... except for this one!
Out of the Box and Into the Bird. Part 2 in a three part series. Based on an image of an unhappy bird seemingly stuck in a cage when there are multiple ways to get out. The tiny squirrel is trying to get a giant bird out of the cage. The tiny squirrel modified its perceptions and definitions and language systems, which allowed it to perceive solutions to escape the cage. And now its trying to save the big big bird out of the cage. It is indeed a scaling problem. This little squirrel is definitely going to need some help! (That image is in Part 3 of the three-part series). Scaling is an interesting process in human communication systems. Because it seems like ideas spread more like an airborn virus or parasite wood. You have a single seed but it can spread like wildfire across many minds quite rapidly. Existing technology allows immense ease of transport, like some form of collective nervous system. Good stories are more like benevolent tumors, invited mutations, so to speak. The bad stories usually get weeded out--unless you have lots of money to keep perpetuating your bad stories throughout the system. :-0
This piece is called "Existence in Context." It's based off of Van Gogh's famous image of the naked man in a circle and a square. I told my advisor Oran that Van Gogh forgot that humans need a planet in order to exist, so the picture was incomplete. I started off with a vague outline of my own body (hence the long hair), then adding layers, like the planet Earth, behind, then adding the branching fractal network connections and feedback loops that represent my flowing connections with the environment--including the heart and the mind. Multiple layers of consciousness here, eh? Far beyond the consciousness of a tunicate. I mean, I was a bag of guts a long time ago. I mean, my ancestors. Long, long, long time ago. Maybe when I was an embryo, I was more so a bag of guts than a mental entity. And now my bag of guts is fine. My brain is hard to manage. I mave much more of a mental existence than I would like. Visceral existence would sometimes be wonderful as well. But my brain keeps consuming and processing information even though my guts are fine. Wish I could turn my brain off once in a while, eh?

Maybe it is a big deal that the body in the image is female, not male. Well, I'll be dxmmed. I am a female and I am going to give myself some credit. My friend George noted that many females and some males tend to think non-linearly and contextually, whereas many other people tend to focus on one system and think linearly. My friend Herschel said that females by default are very non-linear thinkers. Our corpus callosum is extremely interconnected and we can multi-task. Oh. Cool. How come some guys know me better than I know my own self? Strange thing. I'm catching up.

These three images tend to be the "routine" gifts I provide to people who I really care about and also give them a window to the world that I know and have come to build for myself and care about. This is the intellectual bower that I tend: integrating my biological and geological knowledge and its applications to re-interpretations of human-environmental problem solving. I gave these images to one of my advisors, Oran, about a week ago.

I am soon going to hit the road toward the Santa Barbara Harbour, in which our lab will be going on an "educational field trip" hosted by Julie Robinson's husband! Woohoo! I am super-excited to meet everyone and get to know everyone better. Our lab is so diverse in interests and topics, it's amazing! But mostly on the intersection of science and society, institutions and governance. Whether it's science-policy, science-media, whatever. I wish I could see my lab-mates more frequently. I will pose the question as to whether once a week we could all meet up casually just to talk about stuff that's been going on in their heads and ideas to throw out onto the table. Almost like a writer's group! I would LOVE that! We'll see!

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