"I am thinking how poorly we sense the surrounding reality, noticing only things that are vital for our existence and procreation. How fragile and temporary we are in the world of reflection by photons, such void molecule-machines dancing between order and chaos - like every other living organism.
I am now trying to visualize the ever lastingly changing energy, how it is all basically same kind of wave and particle, though generally profiled as internal, potential etc. form of energy. How we all are filled with knotted energy, rushing through quantized space.
The deeper I go in examining physic, the more incredible life seems to me. How we as form of life are copying ourselves, living a short life and then disintegrating into particles and radiation. And yes - nowadays we also are spreading electromagnetic radiation passing and saving information about our being.
When more and more living in digi-world we are forgetting our animalism, which I search and long by portraying native person."
Silja Solenen's work appears in SciArt Center's most recent exhibition, "The Void and the Cloud." The exhibit's curator, Marnie Benney, spoke with Selonen on her artwork and process:
MB: In a way, we started from nothing and will potentially return to nothing, or a void. How does your work explore the concept of the void in regards to human existence?
SS: I think human existence is a interesting form of energy. Energy is everything, variable and eternal. In our atoms it is in a knotted and organized form of matter spinning around itself. Our molecule-engines are absorbing and emitting the free energy in order to stay functioning. To be human is to be a chaotic and ordered energy system, coming from Earth's own thermodynamic system, and when this "living machine" that we are decomposes, it reverts back to wind and cloud and earth.
MB: Do you think humans can exist in the dual state of being and non-being? How does your artwork for this show support or challenge this duality?
SS: Maybe awareness is only one necessary evolutionary feature that has developed for us as an advanced form of life. Or is it a blink of the Universe's connected consciousness, part of an ultimate sentient energy-field? In any case, "non-being" is for me - just and even - a returning to the circulation. In my works I try to visualize how precious and miraculous this temporary existence is.
MB: What aspects of tangible physical form and virtual form do you use in your research or creative practice to explore the thread that connects them?
SS: Virtuality is everything else but the observable world of matter. And even matter is so virtual - empty energetic quantum-particles tightly knotted in their own time-dimension. I see that the thread between tangible and virtual is just in our minds due to our senses - we are experiencing only certain things in our slow-motion time-world between macro- and microcosms and with these experiences we build our own reality.
I try to capture these ideas by trying to feel the static gravity - just a little pressure in my soles, or by thinking about photons when painting tones of shadows and reflections, or understanding what kind of energy-transition is going on when feeling wintry wind or the warmth of the sun. Recently I have used photons by exposing light sensitive material to sunlight and by drawing with cyanobacteria which transforms and stores light-waves to green chlorophyll. It is really interesting to try to collaborate with uncontrolled nature-force, to make it be an accessory, to imprison its virtuality to tangible form and color.
MB: What happens to the physical world, the physical self, in a digital-dominated era?
SS: Our physical self - natural hunter-gatherer - is now adapting itself to the world full of stimulants and obligations. I think that in this digital-dominated era, we are acting just like we would have earlier in wilderness. In our new reality in digi-world, we can play pairing, mating, nursing, hunting, and fighting, and we can gather by pinning and shopping.
All love, hate, joy, and sorrow saved in digital-form on electromagnetic waves are only ones and zeros - reflective and progressive pulses. All love, hate, joy, and sorrow in every lived moment made by my own neurons are also pulses reflecting and causing reactions. So we are quite the same - digime and me - disappearing pulses.