Current trajectories

I am currently following a train of thought started back in 2015 during an independent study project for my BFA on connections between natural sciences and visual art. I had photocopied hundreds of diagrams from library books, their original contexts are now lost to me, so the images stand on their own without any scientific explanation other than the meaning they independently hold. The collection of diagrams informed the design of Óravíddir, but had otherwise not been transformed into anything directly.

I have a favorite:

Under a diagram depiction two streams of electrons repelling each other:
The picture shown here is entirely imaginary and is to be considered more symbolic than literal.

Any image is an illusion, inherently meaningless until filtered through perception and cognition.

How early do children recognize two points and a crescent as a face?

When does a seeing a simplified drawing of a cat, saying meow and petting a house cat converge into the same meaning?

While, for me at least, the ART of visual art is in its inherit uselessness, its defiance of utilitarianism; diagrams are utterly utilitarian images.

They are distilled ideas, but most importantly, always oversimplifications or idealizations. Complications are stripped down to highlight a central, useful, meaning.

The aesthetics of diagrams are black and white, at most dotted gradients. Clean lines, straight lines, geometry, intersecting circles and directional arrows.

It is astounding to me that intricate phenomena across vast scales of time and space can be represented with such simple components.

Will they ever become outdated?

What was the first diagram? How far can diagrams be pushed, how much meaning can they hold without language? How context specific, culturally specific, how learned? None are neutral.

These are all questions that I could look up (theoretical) answers to, whole disciplines are devoted to studying the nature and origin of images.

I mostly just want to mix them up and turn them around.

I used to be obsessed with symmetry across scale, an atom is a solarsystem is a galaxy. Atomic structures in crystals dictate their shape in macro scale. Maybe I still am, that is part of what the diagram collages do, mix scales. They also mix disciplines, hard to soft sciences, old with new.

Maybe I want to draw enough of them to get a feel for constituent parts, a library to draw from to make my own non-sensical diagrams for previously undiagrammed things.

I have started keeping an eye out on the internet for juicy diagrams and collecting more diagram heavy books, expanding the biology, crystallography and astronomy I had focused on before into eco-theory, linguistics and archeology. These happen to be books from the phd student I live with, as I have not opened the flood gates of being allowed to buy any new books. Instead of photocopying, I am tracing with pen on vellum paper. I tell myself that the time spent and the wobble in the lines give it something. I arrange the copies into a combination to trace again, each copy either smoothing or exaggerating the faltered lines.

Oh I almost forgot about the glass.

I recently bought a rotary tool and a bunch of diamond tipped bits specifically to engrave glass so I have been drawing some diagrams on scrap glass to get a feel for the tool.

There are some directions that could go, I am currently only engraving single diagrams, that is, not collaging them, maybe to keep options open. I am using clear float glass, so I can layer the sheets in a 2d or even 3d stained glass piece. I can paint on the back, have been wanting to paint on glass for so long, have tried a few times but always get frustrated with the cheap feel that acrylic seems to get on glass. I could sandwich something between etched glass. I can play with lights, I can make some household item-y things (candle holders? lamps?). Maybe some parascientific instruments like these from Fullkomið firðrúm.

I’ll at least try to keep going.

Environmental anxiety and the importance of self-care


Conversations about environmental issues often take place online or in closed friend/family gatherings, but we in Endur Hugsa would like to offer a public platform to discuss issues in person. At our event next wednesday we will discuss among other things environment anxiety and self care.

But what is environmental anxiety and why is self care important alongside environmental activism? We are no therapists but we use the words environment anxiety to describe a state we ourselves find ourselves in when we try to face the world’s environmental issues head on. The experience of encountering something unthinkably large and powerful and becoming aware of your own smallness – experiencing the Sublime – can be thought about in context with environmental issues. Behavior that a whole international community is participating in now (co2 emissions, general overproduction, the spread of microplastics, destruction of ecosystems for farming or city expansions) will have irreversible consequences for the next generation and all others to come. This is very big!

We tend to either think we are doing enough already, or don’t know where to start, or run into hindrances out of our control even when knowledge and willpower are present.

It is not our intention at all to make anyone feel guilty, we only wish to provide a place for conversation and support.

We believe that self-examination, self-knowledge, self care and support for each other are very important alongside taking big and small steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle and community.

We want to hear what you are doing in your day to day life, mundane environmental habits, what you are particularly worried about, solutions you can think or dream of for your community. We want to share advice with each other and learn from each other, but it is also ok to say how extremely hard this all is, and tell us what you are not willing to give up just yet. It is ok to take a break from the struggle, think of yourself, and save your energy.

But many small and big things need to change if we are to stop or turn around human impact on the environment.

It is easy to feel paralyzed in front of an enormous challenge, but even when you feel like you are not doing much at all, we at Endur Hugsa feel it is important to set aside time just to think.

On our journey toward a more sustainable self and society it can be good to stop and think about some vague and possibly unanswerable questions, to gain a deeper understanding of the context and connection between man and environment. What is environment? What is nature? What is man, is man separate from nature, if there is such a thing as nature? How do I feel, what is my role, how can I and do I need to change? Do individual consumer habits matter in the big picture? What is the solution to all this?

The event on Facebook

Umhverfiskvíði og mikilvægi sjálfs-umhyggju


Samtöl um umhverfismál eiga sér oft stað á netinu eða í lokuðum vina/fjölskyldu hittingum en okkur í Endur Hugsa langar að bjóða uppá almennan vettvang til þess að ræða málin í eigin persónu. Á viðburðinum okkar næsta miðvikudag 20. júní langar okkur m.a. að ræða umhverfiskvíða og sjálfs-umhyggju.

En hvað er umhverfiskvíði og hvers vegna er sjálfs-umhyggja mikilvæg meðfram umhverfisverndarbaráttu?  Við erum engir sálfræðingar en við notum orðið umhverfiskvíða til að lýsa ástandi sem við sjálfar finnum okkur stundum í þegar við reynum að horfast í augu við umhverfisvandamál heimsins. Sú upplifun að standa frammi fyrir einhverju óhugsandi stóru og kraftmiklu og finna fyrir smæð sinni – The Sublime (Hið háleita – hið ægifagra) – mætti tala um í sambandi við umhverismál. Hegðun sem heilt alheimssamfélag tekur þátt í nú (losun kolefnis, dreifing örplasts, almenn offramleiðsla, eyðing lífríkja undir ræktarland og borgir) mun valda óafturkræfum afleiðingum, hafa áhrif á næstu kynslóð og allar þar á eftir. Þetta er rosalega stórt!

Annaðhvort finnst okkur við gera nóg eins og er, eða vita ekki hvar á að byrja, eða of margt sem stendur í vegi fyrir breytingum þrátt fyrir þekkingu og góðan vilja.

Við viljum alls ekki ala á samviskubiti, heldur bjóða upp á að samtal og stuðning.

Við trúum því að sjálfskoðun, sjálfsþekking, sjálfs-umhyggja (e. self care) og stuðningur við hvort annað sé mjög mikilvæg samhliða því að taka stór og lítil skref í átt að sjálfbærari lífstíl og samfélagi.

Við viljum fá að heyra hvað þið eruð að gera daglega, hversdagslega umhverfisvæna vana, hvað þið hafið sérstaklega áhyggjur af, lausnir sem ykkur dettur í hug eða dreymir um fyrir samfélagið. Við viljum skiptast á ráðum og læra af hvort öðru, en það má líka segja hvað þetta sé allt saman er erfitt og hvað maður er ekki tilbúinn að gera! Það má líka taka sér pásu á umhverfisbárattunni, hugsa smá um sjálfan sig, og varðveita orkuna sína!

En margt smátt og stórt og mikið þarf að breytast í okkar samfélagi ef við ætlum að stöðva eða snúa við áhrif mannsins á umhverfið.

Það er auðvelt að lamast frammi fyrir gríðarstórum áskorunum, en þó manni finnist maður ekki vera að gera neitt, þá finnst okkur í Endur Hugsa mikilvægt að gefa sér tíma bara til þess að hugsa.

Á ferðalagi okkar að sjálfbærari sjálfi og samfélagi getur verið gott að staldra við og velta fyrir sér óræðum og mögulega ósvaranlegum spurningum, til þess að dýpka skilning sinn á samhengi og sambandi mannsins við umhverfið sitt. Hvað er umhverfi? Hvað er náttúra? Hvað er maðurinn, er hann aðskilinn náttúru, ef náttúra er yfirhöfuð til? Hvernig líður mér, hver er minn þáttur í þessu öllu, hvernig þarf, og get ég breyst? Skipta einstaka neysluvenjur máli í stóra samhenginu? Hvað er lausnin við þessu öllu saman?

Viðburðurinn á facebook