The biophilia hypothesis is the belief that humans are genetically predisposed to be attracted to nature. It states that all humans inherently love the natural world.
The “Biophilia” project is founded upon the interdependence of all living systems on Earth, drawing inspiration from the concepts put forth by Edward O. Wilson. By incorporating a new research methodology that involves the utilization of SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), an organic and cultivated material, I have discovered novel approaches that transform this material into unique forms. These presentations encapsulate vital information concerning our environment and the intricate processes that shape it.
The primary focus of the Biophilia series revolves around the exploration of new organic materials, serving as alternative artistic tools and mediums. Through this exploration, I aim to foster innovative aesthetics while examining the intricate relationship between humanity and the natural world. The series encompasses diverse fields, including ecological art and Bio Art, which are expressed through a range of visual media such as photographic and video documentation, ready-made objects, prototypes, series of miniatures, lightbox-objects, and installations.
The name of the series „An introduction to Biophilia” is the beginning segment of a cycle and research of natural materials. These works take the form of a miniature experiment, notes of thought in technological research.
Throughout the creative process, a distinct scenario unfolds, evoking the atmosphere of a laboratory that accompanies its characteristic elements. Within this setting, I employ a diverse array of materials and objects, including jars, swabs, spoons, socks, Petri dishes, sample archiving boxes, glass tubes, and bottles with pigments, among others. These materials not only serve their intended functions but also seamlessly integrate into the creative process, transforming into ready-made objects themselves.
During the exhibition, I present the tools and instruments employed in the creation of the SCOBY material. By incorporating the entire process of creation, I consider it to be an integral part of the artwork itself. This approach allows me to explore the boundaries of artistic expression, blurring the lines between the artistic process and the resulting objects, while also inviting viewers to engage with the artistic journey on a deeper level.
(Photography: Elvira Kakuszi and Edvárd Molnár)
The series “Biophilia: Modified Origin” encompasses a diverse range of research forms, including a collection of light boxes, accompanied by an array of photographic and video documentation, ready-made objects, and prototypes. These objects are created through a biological process, involving the integration of variously sized pieces of dehydrated and fixed cellulose onto transparent surfaces.
The intention is to evoke a desire within the observer to approach the objects closely, in order to explore intricate details, and perhaps even engage their sense of smell or touch with the materials. The subconscious yearning for a connection with nature is ever-present in human psyche. The “biophilia effect” aims to stimulate the production of serotonin, a hormone associated with well-being and happiness, by offering an opportunity to observe and interact with elements of the natural world.
To enhance the visual experience, the works from the Biophilia series, crafted through natural processes, are enriched with the inclusion of color and light, particularly through the implementation of light boxes. These artificial light sources serve to emphasize the texture and condition of the bacterial cellulose, creating a dualistic character within each piece. By establishing a connection between the observers and the artworks themselves, an interactive and dynamic ambiance is achieved within the space. Through the application of artificial light and technology, it becomes possible for individuals to manipulate the colors to their liking, enhancing the overall aura and impact of the works.
Moreover, the strong illumination and vibrant colors that highlight the delicate and noble natural material of SCOBY within the objects symbolically convey an ironic perspective on consumerism, presenting a simulation of our choices and their consequences.
Material: SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and hemp
Dimension: 170 x 100 x 6 cm
Gallery “Šok zadruga” Novi Sad, Serbia. (2020)
Contemporary Gallery Subotica, Serbia. (2020)
MODIFIED ORIGIN I.
The artwork comprises various-sized pieces of dehydrated and fixed cellulose, skillfully layered to achieve the desired density and texture. Arranging these plant-based materials on a glass surface results in an abstract form, inviting the observer to approach closely in order to appreciate the intricate details, perhaps even to engage their sense of smell or touch. This proximity to nature elicits an innate connection within the subconscious mind, evoking what is known as the “effect of biophilia.” This effect stimulates the production of serotonin, a hormone associated with well-being and happiness, as individuals observe and interact with elements of the natural world.
In the Biophilia series, the artworks are created through a natural process and are further enhanced with elements of color and light, functioning as light boxes. This deliberate incorporation of artificial light and technology serves to emphasize the unique texture and condition of the bacterial cellulose. Through the interplay between the observers and the artworks, a sense of interactivity, dynamics, and ambiance emerges within the exhibition space. By allowing individuals to manipulate the colors of the artworks as desired, they are empowered to enhance their personal connection and emotional response to the artwork, resulting in a more immersive experience.
MODIFIED ORIGIN II.
The artwork is created using carefully selected samples and pieces of SCOBY that have been cultivated in a larger container. Throughout the cultivation process, my objective was to obtain healthy SCOBY pieces and incorporate them into the glass structure, while also experimenting with the use of another new material. In this case, I utilized hemp as a supportive base to hold the cellulose together.
The preparation of the SCOBY involves thorough washing and soaking in hot water with homemade or baby soap, followed by drying. The dehydration process varies depending on the thickness of the material. My method involves placing the fresh cellulose pieces, along with the hemp, inside a box on the glass and allowing them to fully dry. The natural stickiness of the material is advantageous in this process, as it aids in securing the cellulose to the glass, acting as a form of natural glue.
To further enhance the preservation and protection of the artwork, I apply a coating of extra virgin olive oil during the preparation and fixation stage. This oil serves as a barrier against various outdoor elements, including moisture, ensuring the longevity and integrity of the material.
The finished piece showcases pristine SCOBY shapes with distinct details such as brown pigmentation and subtle bubbliness, which arise during the dehydration process. When the lightbox is illuminated with white LED lights, the richness of the material comes to life, revealing intricate textures and captivating shapes with enhanced visibility and definition.
MODIFIED ORIGIN III.
The artwork is created using a diverse range of samples and pieces of SCOBY, which were cultivated in various glass jars and containers. Throughout the cultivation process, my experiment focused on observing the response of the bacterial cellulose to different conditions, such as variations in light exposure and the environment inside and outside the laboratory. I also explored how the jars and containers interacted with their surrounding environments.
Due to factors like dust, fluctuations in room temperature, or other influences on the symbiotic process, the material may develop a “moldy” appearance on the surface. Maintaining a balanced room temperature and pH level is crucial for cultivating healthy SCOBY.
The finished artwork features an array of natural colors derived from the prepared cellulose, presenting a tapestry of rich textures and captivating shapes. In addition, I incorporated hemp as another material in the second lightbox. When illuminated by white LED lights, the artwork unveils an additional aesthetic dimension, offering viewers a visually captivating experience.