Networks in Nature and the Idea of Connectedness
Yana and I have been exploring her electron microscope images of neuron networks, some of which I have rendered using Photoshop. I do this as a way into the image to better understand its structure and possible interpretations. Images initially evoke an intuitive response, especially when we are not told what the image is about.
Yana’s images of neurons made me think of networks and in some cases, the disturbance of a network. I have always been interested in the idea of complex connections at all scales of human experience: nerves, blood, lymph, lungs, leaves, roots, the food web, migration patterns, rivers, roads, flight paths, hydro lines, social media, the internet … they seem to pop up everywhere we go. These are connectors that both communicate and exchange. The essential pickup and delivery system required in profoundly interdependent world created by collections of cells and other natural processes.
So what happens when we cannot connect, particularly socially. Are we slowly deprived of our needs? I would say ultimately, yes! We need our connections but they can exist out of our line of sight or under our skin. If we are always conscious of our need to connect, we become overwhelmed. Our subconscious is meant to deal with those underlying processes because our conscious minds are not very good at it. We are supposed to be paying attention to what is going on in the moment. Processing complex sensory input, making snap decisions that require the information of the present. Trying to connect all of the time through social media or our online presence can interfere with our ability to pay attention to what is relevant right now. I think it can interfere with the unique experiences that make us individuals but of course, it doesn't have to.