My original project proposal was based on the thalamus, the section of the brain that processes sensory input. I was speculating on the ability to control this section of the brain to expose unconscious bias or to encourage more thoughtful reactions to environmental input. I hit a brick wall with this concept and needed to move on to at least produce something to show for class.
I turned to a different subject matter that I’ve been obsessed with lately: time-lapsed photography of plants. I think of nature as a highly intelligent hyperobject, moving at a completely different pace through time than humans which conceals their true agency in the world. I was particularly interested in slime mold because of it’s primordial ancestry, and how it shape shifts to navigate and feed. I felt like I could recreate this creeping intelligent motion with melted wax and stop motion video to convey a lengthy passage of time.
In the resulting video, I am exploring the possibility of our primordial ancestry reclaiming technology from it’s distant relationship with humankind. By consuming a piece of RAM hardware, the slime takes an evolutionary leap forward. Like it’s human counterparts, it can now both consume and produce in different ways. The result of the slime’s newfound agency is felt like a small shockwave across the forest floor. The networked layers of abstraction that exist in nature are brought to the foreground and multiple pathways for new forms of life are created.
Here are some inspirational links that I was thinking about when making the film: