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    From meganmay
    A funny thing happened on...
    From nagash
    Believe Nothing,...
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    Leaving the Garden of...
    From Spaceweaver
    Nomads, Knowmads, Noumads
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    He who knows nothing, loves nothing.
    He who can do nothing understands nothing.
    He who understand nothing is worthless.

    But he who understands
    also loves, notices,.. sees
    The more knowledge is inherent in a thing,
    the greater the love..

    Anyone who imagines that all fruits ripen at the same time as the strawberries knows nothing about grapes.


    an Essay on Connectivity and Speed/Greed, Love and Devotion.
    by Jasper Griepink

    May 8, 2010 -

    In the rich and well faring western hemisphere of which I occupy space to a given degree I thrive upon several assumptions of what reality is for me.

    When writing this essay I must, to some degree, believe that my findings and assumptions will have meaning for you as a reader as well. For it is my wish to help further constitute more my own life and it's reality, as well as help you constitute yours more in the time we have here.

    In this thesis I want to talk about The Time of the Animal[1]; or the imperialistic and expansion driven mindset of mankind. The World Wide Web as the crown of this devouring era, but also its transition into what I and others like to call The Time of the Plant[2]. I will elaborate on the World Wide Web with its extravagant psychological effect on the process of the shaping of an Identity, and its effect on the Physicality of life. I see the World Wide Web as the capitol of the Animalistic attempts to cover and cross the globe, and to dominate nature; using it as a mere utensil. We have become a seated mankind, which surfs over the globe. And barely has any real contact with the content he or she skims over on the cyber world. There is an uneasiness with Time as a spacious entity, and we are beginning to lose focus on what this expansion and progress was aimed for initially.

    When attempting to write this essay the first couple of times I noticed that most of the writing I did was about the downsides of our lucid digital existence, and I was aiming at making a plea for us all to return to nature, and shed our modern identities. To become aware of what we truly are. But what we are truly we already are right now. And instead of a withdrawal from our current realities as a way to mend things, I intend to focus on an adaptation inside the present reality so that it might give us back the time and place to focus and experience more vividly and attentive. The World Wide Web is not only a path leading us into a timeless and accelerating dimension, but also a root system connecting us all.

    It does however lies within the field of my expectation that this essay might come across as a high-speed journey trough a variety of philosophical landscapes, but that is in fact what I have (and want) to offer you right now. This being the first essay I attempt to write. And me experiencing the world I am taking place in as a volcano of experiences, intensities and emotions also rushing towards me at great velocity. Further more, it must be understood that the term 'we' refers to you and me, and what I see as the general or main part of society. And mostly the youngsters that are actively intertwined with the realities I try to display and discuss. This 'we' persona will probably not be a real person, but is simply a personified summit of the fears which in the first attempts initiated me to write this essay.

    Luckily, this version was written out of the capacity and desire to dream and evolve together.

    '..The rich and well faring western hemisphere of which I occupy space to a given degree..'

    I am right now, in a time of opportunities and prosperity. Or as the German-American philosopher Erich Fromm (1900-1980), known for his 1941 book about freedom in the modern western hemisphere says: A time of freedom.

    'The beginning of freeing the human mind was made by Protestantism in the 16th century and was continued by capitalism later on. Both on a personal and inward level, as well as on a social and political level mankind was freed from previous sovereigns. Here, economical freedom was the primary basis, and the middleclass its executor. No longer was mankind hold back by a social structure which ( based on production ) gave little freedom to individual growth beyond the traditional limitations. From now on, he was allowed (and even supposed) to succeed in his personal conquests as far as his hard work, dedication, intelligence or luck could bring him'[3]

    To free ourselves from the dominion of gods and dictators, and to be fully free from the dependence on natural and geographically available resources, we constructed Capitalism. Being as I am, in a country that pays for my education and has numerous of social services that support me financially and health wise, I feel that I have been granted a live with many freedoms. But this newly acclaimed freedom is a two-sided blade. It enfolds itself as a curse: we are now free 'from' external dominion, which Fromm described as the negative side of freedom. But we are not yet fully free 'to', which in respect is described as the positive side of freedom. This positive side of freedom requires a self-governance. This self-governance is needed to realize the individuality and identity, which in turn is needed to wield the positive side of freedom. 'On one hand it is a process of growing force and integration, of dominion over nature, and of increased rationalism and solidarity. On the other hand this freedom means increased solitude. Insecurities and questions about our place in the cosmos, the meaning of our lives, and further more a growing awareness of one's powerlessness, and the uselessness of an individual and solitary existence'


    The Time of the Animal is a paradigm in which expansion and imperialism is at it's peak, being the current that formerly set us free. There is an addiction to growth and development. And greed has almost fully became our second nature. It is a time of speed and acceleration. An explosion of production and development. We travel with the most amazing speeds, and are bestowed by real time, on the fly information. We have the World Wide Web as a worldwide encyclopedia, giving us insight into researches, the news of the planet and numerous amounts of personal recordings, and representations of life itself. The Time of the Animal is a time of devouring, a time of conquest and war, and the desire to be on top of the game. The Time of The Animal has no historical time span but is to be looked at as a tendency of our human behavior, having high times and low times throughout history.

    Commerce made us search and discover the planet on a quest for gold; a search for El Dorado; cheaper spices and goods, and faster trading routes. In the late 1700s steam engines physically powered machines. And although battery powered telegraphy emerged in the 1830s, another fifty years passed before the local telephone exchange was established. As municipal utilities emerged in the 1880s to generate and deliver AC power, the stage was set for the use of electrical appliances by the general public. Following the popularity of electrical lightning and telephony in urban centers in the late nineteenth century, the first electronical household items, such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines and refrigerators came to market in the 1910s. The market for radios exploded in the 1920s together with the growth of commercial broadcasting, technologies that were developed during the lean years of the Second World War precipitated another outpour of electronic consumer goods during the prosperity of peacetime. Television became wildly successful in the 1950s, while the 1960s and 1970s brought hi-fi stereo sounds-systems, video cameras, remote controls, cable television and satellite telecasts. In the 1980s and 1990s, the advent of personal computing, public access to the Internet and the multimedia capabilities of the World Wide Web, along with broadband Internet and cellular mobile phones, sparked the E-commerce boom and fuelled globalization. [4]

    Globalization gave us the ability to be aware of events taking place all over the globe, and of events taking place in the lives of people living miles and miles away. In a sense we have entered a new era of connectivity. We have a hyperconnected mind[5], which is in a constant process of transformation by the sheer velocity and rush of information that is being absorbed and digested. But hasn't our desire to produce and get ahead in the commercial game gone over our heads literally? We gave our handcraft away to machines, and our jobs to computers. Mountain climbing and sublime experiences of nature have been handed out to the TV-broadcasts on National Geographic, and our calming and inspiring landscape was sold to the speeding aircrafts.

    A globalized world means having a worldwide focus; a global focus; a diffused focus. You see everything and nothing at the same time.

    Our need of hyper-connectivity in a competitive world (that of the Animal) brings forth a need for (or addiction to) information[6]. Information we need in order to plot the grid of this cyber network and of our life there. This addiction is massively sucking up our energy, and we haven't even got the time to properly digest the information we find, because new feeds are piling up. The speed of information is so rapidly expanding that we become like animals. Greedily devouring the planet without limitations. Once more, as we have done for so many centuries. .

    Having a focus on the entire world as we know it (in order to be on top of the game) is diffusing our view. And the world as it is now, is based on this diffused focus. We are surfing on a network 'in between' planes of content. There are plateaus of experience and sensations of time and place which the network cannot focus on, since it is focused on the connectivity and the links leading to other links, in order to be everywhere simultaneously. It is a global network on which you can travel with the speed of light absorbing and digesting the information that you find. But it is a network of very limited and very colored information. Like the way music nowadays is being digitalized into dots, in contrast to the waves of the vinyl gramophone records, we lose out the information in between. Within the principle of sampling lies abstraction and selection. Which both lead you further away from an authentic and full experience of the waves, and all the sensations in between these sample marker points. The grid of the cyber world works exactly the same. The destinations are limited, bordered, selected and mostly shallow and fast. They are standardized.

    Even when we travel, we have accustomed to take a jet to a city (or any other destination) but hardly notice that all we (desire to) travel to are different quantities of sunlight, and a different mother tongue. For the rest; we want to be able to pay with our bankcards; call with our mobile phones; and find the same foods in the supermarket as we do back home. Even in our mobility we become so hopelessly motionless. On one hand this is because the physicality of our traveling is diminishing rapidly (our seats have gotten wheels). On the other hand this is because the world is being assimilated into this grey and standardized reality. A desurated world. So what is distance anyway?

    The ways of the URL; the almost holy synapse between your search and that what you find.

    The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a magical gateway between you and the world, and Google is the god of those gateways. A plane of portals to destinations it will locate for you. It knows what disease you have and what everything looks like. Google and the URL are the uniform and standardized locators you use in your searches. The world, in some sense, is becoming a standardized place too. If we view and connect with it similarly to the ways we view and connect with the virtual world; a common language and a common sensation; Comfort and ease, with tremendous speed. Like fast food that is prepared without any attention, intention or care whatsoever. We have a fastlife, a fastcar and a fastjob. We become uneased with time as a spacious entity. We are even controlled by Google, since all our experiences there are stored in a big database; those data are sold to companies; they will in the end prescribe who we think we are and how we should behave as consumers. Minions of the economic paradigm.

    So please, take a hike, and stay outside until the sun sets and the world shows you a broader display of being, than the everlight screens of your television, personal computer and your mobile phones can show you. Let your eyes suck up the darkness and color your world for you.

    On the WWW there is a focus on the all. On the full globe, and all that is happening there. There is a need to be informed, and there is an addiction to receive information. But next to the amount of information we devour on a daily basis we also have the need to communicate all that we come across in our daily lives as well. We post Youtube videos that we think are amazing on our Facebook, and we post on our walls that which we experience. Instead of keeping an insightful journal to reflect on our steps and movements inwardly, we reflect (or are; as in being) in representation. (directed outwards).

    We become fully aware of all the eyes looking back at us, when we stare into the global connected cyber world. And we have the need to plot our identity here as we do in our physical life. We become a self-mapping hyperconnected humankind, which requires modern varieties of the self-governance Fromm wrote about in the 1940s. This new form of self governance, managing your identity on multiple realities of time and place, in both the physical and virtual reality, is another addition to the struggle we have with forming our individual entity in the space that has been given to us by our acclaimed freedom.

    ' When in hyperconnectivity; if so the governance that matters is the governance of ideas, of concepts, of issues of care, of emotions that transcend the local and fly above the relational notion of 'I am this or that' to land softly into "we are part of this and this is part of me". That which we care about most, the very freedom we carry within us as the flourishing of the infoflow becomes manifest as the authority we carry, implied by the pointers we direct our gaze to and not by the geography we happen to be physically residing in.[7] '

    Who I am and what I am is no longer an issue that can solely be perceived by the old indicators of social constructs but is being reformulated into a reflection trough representation. Representations mostly portrayed and created on social networks. The social facet of the World Wide Web is changing the way people think about the Internet; from a tool used in solitary anonymity to a medium that touches on questions about human nature and identity.

    An identity which is constructed by linking your being to ideas and issues of care, and by affiliating yourself to other persons which you add to your list of Facebook friends; or link to your professional online network.

    Linking as a manner of constructing. Like roots of grass. Having the potency of becoming a fertile and healthy network intertwining our lives and the health of the planet; it is not yet so the case. For we enter this lucid living with the mind of the Animal. We have the desire to expand and grow, and explode into successes and financial triumphs. And added to that; our identity is getting constructed by the position we take 'in between' people and the abundance of ideas floating about, and from which we can pick. But the reality is that the richness in ideas and personas is being desurated by a municipal desire to succeed and/or be perfect. There is no format for a real individual identity, or authentic placing here. I have experienced that the insecure identity surfing about on the Internet, looking at all the other representations will find it harder to post (conversing in a representative manner) about their personal insecurities and defeats. Instead it will be posting only their successes and their gains. Positioning their identity just hovering above a mayor part of the people they encounter. When being better than another; one has fewer questions about what or where he or she is. It is an envious battleground where after nights of browsing trough photos, you analyze your opponents. And, as the success driven Animal you are; try to better them and be on top of the game.


    A mayor part of the social facet of the World Wide Web is, psychologically, a very aggressive or competitive place. In which your mind starts to mix up the reality of things with the way they are represented. A thing we have been doing since the time the television came into our living rooms. We see the world trough a medium, and the world is brought to us by the everlit glass screens. Hollywood shows the way we must love, and Discovery Channel shows us the world we are missing out on. But thank god they bring it to us at our homes. For me the contrast of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, and the rest watching him do this on TV from within their homes was striking. Even our dreams where altered massively when the TV became a mayor conductor of the visual information we gather during the daytime[8]. And sometimes during too much of our nighttime. Together with our personal and physical encounters with the world and with life itself, huge parts of our perception is being brought to us by videotaped and edited collections and distillations done by external entities.

    In the mediated world information is not only filtered, but also abstracted and extracted from the whole, not only by the basic principles of the camera lens; a frame which cuts off the view. Any imagery that is brought to us by any medium whatsoever is in its principle a selection, and never a full and objective encounter. But I wont elaborate too much on mediation in this essay. It is simply necessary to understand that the virtual world is a world of digital sampling from within imagery, emotions and the physical reality..

    And so are also the representations of our friends on the Internet. Being retouched by Photoshop. And posting on their 'walls'[9] stories about the nice Starsbucks coffee they just got while shopping in the nicest streets in the most divine sunlight, wearing nothing but the most ultra chique garments. Accompanied by their immaculate friends. Ironically, these are the people you start to compare yourself with when subconsciously establishing your identity. You must, somehow, find a place for yourself amongst these immanent personalities that can be altered by the click of a mouse, or a tweak of information. Lucid as this world is, you as well become more lucid then ever positioning your identity in this big lightshow; throwing overboard your communing with the physical world, and the whole universe as a mirror to your entity; forming your identity and individuality amidst the pylons of this a virtual hideout. I got afraid we would miss out on who we are and what it is we need/or want to do while we are here. Spending so much time sculpting the representation of ourselves; looking for our destinations on the Internet; seeing friendships as nothing more than a small green blinky dot, linking your profiles together; and understanding 'Love' as a status you can simply attach to a photo, video or an idea. By simply leaving a '<3 '-comment on another persons Internet profile or on a Youtube video.

    Love has become a mere status, instead of willingly making a devotion to an object or subject (as Fromm wrote about in his 1956 book The Art of Loving[10]). A devotion that is hard to make in a world that is speeding up by the minute. Since there is an inability or uneasiness with time as a spacious entity; when something takes time, we get anxious. We rather keep on exploiting time rather than excavating it with care and attention. Making the space in it bigger and more enriched, enclaving in depth as opposed to distance. The plant mind, as opposed to the Animal mind. (the plant mind will be further explained later in this essay)

    A knowing, which is also required to understand and love an object or a subject is getting harder to obtain; the physical details and the endless fractals of the physical world get smudged away by Photoshop tools, and are pixilated to a point that blinds you as you try to zoom in. The way Giacometti got lost in borderless deserts of skin, and oceans of texture, is a good example of the physical attention a human can give. Virginia Woolf was also inspired by the devoted attention she gave to natural phenonemas around her. [..]Why, if it was an illusion, not praise the catastrophe, whatever it was, that destroyed illusion and put truth in its place? For truth...those dot mark the spot where, in search of truth, I missed the turning up to Fernham. Yes indeed, which was truth and which was illusion, I asked myself? What was the truth about these houses, for example, dim and festive now with their red windows in the dusk, but raw and red and squalid, with their sweets and their bootlaces, at nine o'clock in the morning? And the willows and the river and the gardens that run down to the river, vague now with the mist stealing over them, but gold and red in the sunlight - which was the truth, which was the illusion about them?[11] A river is never really there. And when observing it with care and attention, it opened up for her, and shared with her its contents and secrets.

    But looking at something with care and attention is getting harder in a culture that is aimed at a very scattered way of living, without any concentration whatsoever. The modern day man does so many things simultaneously : reading, listening to the radio, talking, smoking, eating, drinking. He consumes with his mouth open wide, greedy and willingly to gobble up everything it can: films, alcoholics, information. A lack of concentration originating from the trouble we have with simply being by ourselves. [12]

    In the way the Internet world is merely only there when you look for it trough the URL and is gone when you click it away makes you more distanced from matters. Matters that are usually taking place in time, and on location. But now; everything can wait, and everything will be there when you look for it again. Like the particles we look for in Quantum physics. The world is there only when we look for it[13]. But is the world gone when we don't look? By interlining the physical world with the way we treat the digital world, we miss out an important part of responsibility that is entangled with a true sensation of time. The non-reply you can get away with since in fact; you are able to hide behind your Internet representation, which, although present, does not mean that you are in fact present. Even when you are in fact present; this layer of being and non-being can be used to escape responsibility, and therewith again, leading away from the principles of loving (as an activity) which I will get to in just a moment. The bizarre anti-place and/or anti-time of the Internet world, gives you the ability to flee from the reality and the realness of social and emotional encounters you have in the real-time physical world.

    It concerns me greatly that the changing relationship we have with time and the loss of our physical being results in an alteration of loving; from devotion to status. An alteration that Dutch artist Melanie Bonajo (1978) also described in her essay 'Floccinaucinihilipilification' which was published in her 2009 book Furniture Bondage. In which she illustrates the way she and her father both look at loving in different ways.

    '[..]I know it is a cliché. Whenever I tell my dad how much I love my car, which is true, he always retorts: "No you don't. You never clean it," It points out an essential difference in how my father and I maintain our material worlds. My love for objects gives me some sort of service and is expressed purely on emotion and the dialogue I prolong with it. My dad has a very practical approach of showing his love for things. [..]'

    Bonajo here refers to the world of objects, as is the main subject in her art work. But I don't see this alteration being limited to objects only. There is a laid back attitude towards Loving, and to necessary devotion and care in general.

    I for one tend to follow what German social psychologist, and humanistic philosopher Erich Fromm writes about love. He considered love to be an interpersonal creative capacity rather than an emotion, and he distinguished this creative capacity from what he considered to be various forms of narcissistic neuroses and sado-masochistic tendencies that are commonly held out as proof of "true love." Indeed, Fromm viewed the experience of "falling in love" as evidence of one's failure to understand the true nature of love, which he believed always had the common elements of care, responsibility, respect, and knowledge[14].

    I must say, that I also notice the tendency Melanie Bonajo wrote about. And that that is on one side a very bad development leading us astray from what Fromm calls the 'creative being' that we humans are in our most principle nature. When loving something simply becomes a way of defining who we are, rather than it being the electric current, which makes the universe, tremble and grow in ecstasy. But on the other side, when in this world of laid back observing behavior: devotion and attention can be quarried for in your personal life still. And since this is in so many situations forgotten and not done, the times in which you manage to do dedicate to an object or a subject, the stories it will tell you will be perceived as the grandest and utmost intimate treasures in the midst of this fastlife world.

    Like caves of love, overgrown with treasures, moist plants and flowers, the shallow and hard surfaces will be transformed into gardens of experience. Once we find the occasion to deploy the ability we have to quarry (give attention; or love) that which is already around us right now.


    From my current artwork research statement : 'At one point I was aiming at disconnecting myself from the world wide web and stop searching for paradise online, to re-awaked my physical self, and our gift of perception. I felt that the seated human lost their body in the sense that there was no physical perception, or at least a very limited one. Since we travel in busses and trains, and walk in covered transferia it is as if we never leave our houses, or buildings. We stop walking, because there are multiple forms of transport. And our bodily sensing becomes a gimmick we explore during the holiday season, or with friends when we go climbing indoors. I felt that we lost touch with our physical purpose here on earth : perceiving it vividly and individually in motion'.

    'I felt that there was a loss of Love, originating in our lack or physical perception, and missing out the time to perceive and dedicate to - I felt that love is changing into a mere status, rather than a physical dedication I desire to participate in so much. Whether it is a dedication to the landscape, the time you spend on a subject, or the deep attention you give to another person'.

    'So I desired too much to (re)find that primal and physical devotion to my own life, and I planned on escaping this new (virtual-)reality, and head back into nature to initiate this ( new) devotion'.

    'But I was still so tempted and lured by the virtual landscape, that it was hard for me to leave it. It was for me, such an interesting plane. Almost everything I know or read I find in there, I look it up, and I use its images. The normative images of Google give such a nice reflection of the way we look at the world. And we especially look-at the world. We are observers'.

    'In my art work I was always fascinated by certain parts of science, linking our bodies and physical world together as one, as an endless enfolding and reclining mass. A create and destroy mastering all materials. - In a sense I look for companionship in these factual signs of our actual connection, I am looking for evidence of our home. I am looking for the signs of paradise. The whole we became disunited from. But I am now convinced that this Sublime searching is not necessarily ( or solely ) a Physical activity'.

    I now intend to combine the Physical world with the virtual world trying to forge a bond between two seemingly opposites to gain more possibility to learn and perceive and to physically and virtually search for paradise (and in the search experience that sense of home; a sense of unity; a sense of paradise).

    'I felt that there was a dangerous vacuum in between the solitary experience, and the social scene ; the Internet, since we are all homebound single pc users, surfing trough cyberspace we are in fact not alone, and not in company either. Because of the endless input of the activities of others, and the desire to communicate all of our tedious activities we forget to experience something individually, or solitary. But we are also losing the ability to be in physical company, because for that we need to disconnect from our pc's. So we take our mobile phones with us, and look at our messages when we go to the lavatory. We like this distanced togetherness because it is a safe hide-out'.

    But what was first a fear of this vacuum in between the solitary being and the social being, I now see as a new wavelength of life. An in-between status which can connect the physical and the virtual world, and make way for more development and experience.

    With my sculptural and new media works I try to re-invoke this richness, and try to reboot perception in a world where the bodily perception is diminished so much, and Loving has become such a laid back affiliation which can be evoked whenever we feel like, and cancelled with the same convenience.


    For instance, In my sculpture Zellseelen und Seelenzellen[15] I tried to create a spacious environment which portrayed microbiological voids. The smallest of particles became large objects when you would enter them trough the cave-like veins which I build as entrance ways for visitors to reach the chromosomes and cells inside. 'These planes have not been visited frequently, and the white dust has settled there and is moved by the steps you make in that world. Like Neil Armstrong, you imprint your presence there, where no man has gone before. This world seems slow and soft, but is actually vivid and progressing, planning again their next creation. Information is stored within these objects, yet when we look inside, there is only more void.' When a visitor is fully prepared to dive in, and is fully covered in a white and soft suit, he or she is ready to step into this world where everything can be touched and moved. 'Nearly everywhere is a place you could want to stop and stare, or pause and sit. It is a soft plane. A slow plane, where you can go out and discover, that the smallest of parts, are gigantic sculptures, compared to the contents they hold[16].'

    With Zellseelen und Seelenzellen I tried to illustrate that everything that is giant and massive is all constructed by small particle upon small particle, and that the most tiniest details ultimately form the whole thing. I also wanted to evoke the physicality of the visitor by not making photographs or a drawing on this subject, but by letting people explore this world by them selves, physically.

    It must be understood that the Animal mind is not in fact referring to the sheer nature of animals, which are a great and very inspiring addition to the richness of our planet. It is more likely to refer to the Animal mind as the instincts that are instigated into our brains, telling us we need to fight to survive. Animals are in fact very related to us and share with us some very basic biological features, like our bones and muscles. Our way of breathing, but also the way we respond to light photons. .

    'The Opsins project is a project about sculpture and interaction. This summer I placed a gigantic cubicle in the dunes near Haarlem. This cubicle was a bright source of light, and was undeniably the centre of the sculptural happening. The light which came from the cubicle attracted the visitors long before they reached the actual site, since the cubicle was seen from the path that gave entrance to the dune-valley. But side by side with the humans, came the insects, the flies, the bugs, the ladybirds and the caterpillars. Neighboring the cubicle was a small lake, which was filled with frogs, basking in the light and making lots of nighttime noises. Rabbits were seen, and I am sure that the worms and creatures of the underground knew there was something going on at the surface. So this is how we all gathered. How we all came to the light. And this is how I came to collecting all those with Opsins'[17].

    In my Opsins project I wanted to illustrate the way our opsins-cells respond to light photons. They are a cellular construction which we share with all animals on earth. [..] 'Nature has got at least 10 ways of constructing eyes. The eyes have evolved and nature tries to show us all the variations. All the creative energy nature has. But despite of the existence of at least 10 distinct eyes, when researchers compare the Opsins from various species, these molecules are all related'[..] And I wanted to show how important it is to look at our other earthly inhabitants as well as trying to focus on the way we as humans develop. Since we have all these apparant similarities with animals from without our inner bodies, and also in our behaviour.

    But as we all know, plants also respond to light in similar ways. The plant grows towards the sun, and they blossom while doing so.

    T h e T i m e o f t h e P l a n t

    The laid back 'anything-goes' attitude of the 20th century was explicitly attacked, when the World Trade Center was penetrated by two airliners on September 11th, 2001. The new millennium was here. [..]This violent transition gave rise to a reconsideration of the post-ideological 'anything-goes' attitude of the former years. Increasing criticism on globalization, and a return of religion into society [..][18].

    Luckily our greedy expansionism resulted into a global network (the Internet), which can function as a fertile root system capable of maintaining a new paradigm; that of the Plant.

    'I propose that we should adopt the plant as the organizational model for life in the twenty-first century, just as the computer seems to be the dominant mental/social model for the late 20th century, and the steam engine was the guiding image of the 19th century[19]'. The Plant as a model for a new paradigm spells the breakup of the pattern of male dominance and hierarchy based on animal organization, and might not be something that is done overnight by a sudden shift of collective awareness. Rather it will follow naturally upon the gradual recognition of the losses we are suffering, and the awareness of the mistreatment of our global network in the paradigm of the Animal.
    We must look at Loving as being a gift of attention and devotion, as care and responsibility. Rather than gaining or obtaining love - give love. Instead of devouring - nurture. The Plant versus the Animal. The maternal values rather than the paternal values. Omnivorous, land-clearing, war makers versus the circumglobal mantle of vegetation that constitutes by far the major portion of the biomass of the living planet. The last time the mainstream western mindset was refreshed by the gnosis of the vegetable mind was at the end of the Hellenistic Era (323bc - 146bc) before the nurturing and vegetable religions were finally suppressed by the enthusiastic Christian barbarians. A dominion of fear, guilt and suppression of which we got rid off some 2000 years later.

    In the 1989 issue of Whole Earth Review, American author, public speaker and art historian Terrence McKenna wrote about Veriditas, which is a term for the green side of mind first described by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) in her 1151 book Scivias. Veriditas is a focus on nurturing and excavating the now and the here, rather than the hope to hit El Dorado in the future, or of finding all that we desire for on the other side of an ocean.

    McKenna wrote that 'like plants, we need to maximize the quality of connectedness and symbiosis. Plant based approaches to modeling the world include awareness of the fractal and branching nature of community action' And being as it is, our global cyber network offers a very sustainable format for this quality connectedness. 'The tooth-and-claw struggle for existence, with the survivor taking the hindmost, is a model based on naïve observation of animal behavior. Yet it was cheerfully extended into the realm of plants..' and into that of humans '..To explain the evolutionary interactions thought to cause speciation in the botanical world. Later, more sophisticated observers found not the War in Nature that Darwinists reported but rather a situation in which it was not competitive ability but ability to maximize cooperation with other species that most directly contributed to an organism's being able to function and endure as a member of a biome. Plants interact with each other trough the tangled mat of roots that connects them all to the source of their nutrition and to each other'

    And the Internet as it is right now, is the perfect format. It should be used wise and for good purposes. I am not imposing that we should not ever use the internet for any form of trivial entertainment or simple joys. I too am very pleased that I can download all the TV series I like to watch, and I can easiliy stumble upon something new and interesting every day. I in fact wrote this essay by surfing trough the WWW jumping from site to site, and linking all sorts of information strands together. But we have to know that there is a risk. We can easily fall into motionlessness, and spend our hours at home browsing trough content without proper attention.

    'Radio, film and newspapers have in this respect a very disastrous effect. News about a city bombing and the death of hundreds is shamelessly followed or interrupted by a commercial for soap of wine. The same voice-over with the same suggestive and attractive voice, which he had just used to inform you about the seriousness of the political situation, now informs you of the impressive qualities of the brand of soap, that is paying for the broadcasts. The daily news show us images of fashion shows followed by ships being torpedoed. Magazines share their trivial information about the breakfast habits of celebrities with the same graphic styles as they use for scientific of artistic research. And because of all this we stop being truly connected with what we see of hear. We are no longer hit. Our feelings, and our critical notions are being blocked, and eventually our stance on what is happening in the world will be shallow and apathetical'[20]. And this is exactly what the world is lacking out in: concentration.

    While concentrating on something is the basic for knowing something, and eventually caring for something or even loving something. But it is troubling that the western world thinks that the virtue of concentration must be a painful or hard to maintain. But the opposite is true. For when you do manage to concentrate on something your mind will awaken and you will be able to truly concentrate with much more ease than was anticipated.

    Concentration is about fully living in the here and the now. It does not think about other things when it is working with something right now. And one who does not see that everything has it's one time, and that time itself is in fact a spacious entity, will want to force, and never succeed in concentrating.

    And therewith loving.

    In my works I try to illustrate connections we have with our planet on a physiological level, but also on a spiritual level. I want to show universal similarities and primary connections between ourselves and that with which we come in contact. I like to unravel and stimulate essential elements of our evolution, our desires and of that which we are drawn to. I want us to feel connected and at home, and not holding on to the promise of reclusion and of sin. We are not thrown out of our paradise garden in the sense that this is our most primal way of placing dominion externally. We are ourselves responsible and capable.

    We are in fact free to be free. And we can answer the void, or the fear, of this unknown plane of freedom (the positive side of it ) with spontaneity, involvement and creation.
    'a condition for spontaneity is accepting the whole personality, and the victory on the division between reason and nature. Only then, when humans no longer suppress essential parts of his or her personality [..] is he able to be truly spontaneous and free'. And in this spontaneous self-realisation we again reconnect ourselves with the world; the people, nature and with the self. And our personality is at its strongest when it is in action. When it is expressing itself in actions and in motion, in deeds and in dedications, and not I successes and richness. For it is possible that the pleasure and joy the experience of the moment of the now has to offer, is missed out on in pursuit of a phantom which leaves man disappointed at the moment he thinks to have captured it. The treacherous illusions of luck that are called success.

    When we are able to connect with the world trough action and devotion, we will also cease to be a separate atom; we and the world become parts of a purposely put together whole. In its right place, man will lose all doubt of himself and of the meanings of life. This fear and doubt was a product of his secluded position. But is he able to live, not forced and not automated, but spontaneous, than this doubt will vanish. He is aware of himself as an acting and creating man. And he will know that live has only one purpose: that of living it in deed. Living in action that is.

    For me sexuality is a very interesting plane of action, placing itself in the cross sections of the primal and more bodily desires, and that of the rational and mental desires. For sex is one of these phenomena which are sprung from very basic desires, and elope into the most wondrous and bizarre manifestations. Some say that our entire culture has evolved the way it did out of our primal and bodily desires[21], and is so extravagantly filled with rules and reasons, all to blind and hide those primal desires which originated the very thing.

    In my graduation works, which are mostly performances, I am researching the sexual similarities between our human culture, and the animal kingdom. In this research I am greatly inspired by the Bowerbird. The bird that stages it presence to the fullest, in order to attract a mate with his immanent appearance. But next to the animal kingdom, the kingdom of the plants and the flowers also have many similarities to our human desires and the games we play to get what we want. I display the female archetypes of the sexual game with my 'booty' performances, and intent do diver my works into the many different, yet present, forms of our identity as (sexual, and physical) humans.

    We all share the same DNA. And we all originate from stardust. Stardust that clustered here, in this magnificent location within the universe, near our star Sun. Underneath the light of which we all grow. On the stardust sphere we all drink the same water, and we all require the same minerals to function and flow. We all spawn here and die here. In an endless enfolding and reclining mass; A create and destroy mastering all materials. There is still no conclusion in the debate whether our metabolism is based upon carnivorism or vegetarianism. All I know is that we all originate from water, and are most likely to be omnivores, with a preference to fish and seafood. But why we are so distanced from our inner plant as opposed to our inner animals I do not know.

    I do however know, that on a cosmic scale, we humans don't travel much further than plants do; all living in a wondrously melodic atmosphere. Until this point in history we have modeled our more successful economic systems on animal predation. Animals can potentially move on to another resource when they exhaust the one at hand. Since they can move to new food sources, they potentially have unlimited resources. Plants are more fixed. They can not easily move to richer nutrients or leave an area if they foul or deplete it. They must recycle well. The fostering of a plant-based ethic that emulates the way in which the botanical world uses and replaces resources is a 'sine qua non' for planetary survival. All capitalistic models presuppose unlimited exploitable resources and labor pools, yet neither should now be assumed[22].

    [..]and then there is our time, that simply denies death,
    and simply avoids one of the most fundamental aspects of life'[23].

    And indeed, as far as I know Jupiter's moon Europa, the NASA acclaimed candidate for a second earth is still some 0,6 to 1 billion kilometers away from us, and we are using up all our natural recourses with a careless rate. So why do we not look at our green companions more? We should try to discover how they keep finding water and sunlight, and are able to work together so well while in the meantime produce the most magnificent florals and scents and simultaneously maintaining their soils and producing the primary products for (insect, animal and human) life, and of vegetations globally.

    As a personal credo I frequently use the famous sentence 'To boldly go where no man has gone before'[24], and I try to push myself to the brink of new worlds continuously. And it is a very inspiring and exciting notion that there is no essential necessity to look for these worlds across the Atlantic, in some paradise which was lost.

    Thanks to the way we are globally connected and well faring as we are, we have now achieved a very prosperous and potential Time, in which attention and physicality is yet again a very surprising enterprise to be taken. And I would be happy so see our identity and individuality flourish, when we undertake this faithful and optimistic voyage into our surroundings and into ourselves.


    For information or comments feel free to contact me at
    jaspergriepink [at]

    don't forget to take a look at my (re)search here


    [1] The Time of the Animal is a term I created to refer to a paradigm or model of society which is based on the tooth-and-claw struggle for existence, with the survivor taking the hindmost. A model based on naïve animal behaviour which has extended it's philosophy into the basics of humankinds social and economic structure.
    [2] The proposition to adopt the Plant as the organizational model for life in the twenty-first century has been made before. It was described in detail in an essay written by Terrence McKenna in Whole Earth Review in 1989 based upon numerous of earlier researches.
    [3] Erich Fromm, Escape from freedom, or The Fear of Freedom, 1941
    [4] Exerpt from Art and New Media 2009.
    [5] Hyperconnectivity is a term that first appeared in a series of essays appearing online on in January 2010. In The rise of the Cyber Unified Civilisation the anonymous essayist uses the term to describe the status in which the modern day man is intertwined with the Internet, cellular phones, and laptops. And is in a constant connection to the endless online news feeds and other forms of information being spread around the globe.
    [6] Information addiction is a condition whereby connected users experience a hit of pleasure, stimulation and escape. Technology that affects attention span, creativity and focus, and has been referred to as pseudo-attention deficit disorder. According to M.Richtel, who wrote the article 'The Lure of Data: Is It Addictive?' in The New York Times on July 6, 2003; 'the ubiquity of technology in the lives of executives, other businesspeople and also consumers has created a subculture of the 'Always On' - and a brewing tension between productivity and freneticism. For all the efficiency gains that it seemingly provides, the constant stream of data can interrupt not just dinner and family time, but also meetings and creative time, and it can prove very tough to turn off'.
    [7] Quoted from The rise of the Cyber Unified Civilisation; essay posted on in January 2010.
    [8] A full 12% of sighted people dream exclusively in black and white. The remaining number dream in full color. Studies from the 1915 through to the 1950s maintained that the majority of dreams were in black and white, but these results began to change in the 1960s. Today, only 4.4% of the dreams of under-15 year-olds are in black and white. Recent research has suggested that those changing results may be linked to the switch from black-and-white film and TV to color media.
    [9] The Wall is a space on each user's profile page that allows friends to post messages for the user to see while displaying the time and date the message was written. One user's Wall is visible to anyone with the ability to see his or her full profile, and different users' Wall posts show up in an individual's News Feed. Many users use their friends' Walls for leaving short, temporal notes. More private discourse is saved for messages, which are sent to a user's inbox, and are visible only to the sender and recipient(s) of the message, much like email.
    [10] Will be further explained later in the essay.
    [11] Excerpt from page 24-25 of Virginia Woolf's; A room of One's One (Cambridge Literature edition, 1995)
    [12] Excerpt from Erich Fromm's Escape from freedom, or The Fear of Freedom, 1941
    [13] The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics suggests that particles are here and also not here, and can only be defined as present while being observed. The location of particles, while not being observed, can not be scientifically determined since there is no confirming evidence or observation during these 'un-observed' periods.
    [14] Erich From, The Art of Loving, 1956.
    [15] Zellseelen und Seelenzellen is a book written in 1878 by the German sea-biologist Ernst Haeckel, and tells us about the soul-cell, or the understanding that every small particle has soul ; a conscious understanding of its existence, and its purpose.
    [16] Quoted from my own publication Zellseelen und Seelenzellen
    [17] Quoted from my own publication The Opsins Project
    [18] Quoted from the introduction of Now is the Time : kunst&educatie in de 21e eeuw ( 2010)
    [19] Terrence McKenna in her essay Plan/Plant/Planet in the Whole Earth Review, 1989
    [20] Excerpt from Erich Fromm's Escape from freedom, or The Fear of Freedom, 1941
    [21] Human Nature, by Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry, 2001
    [22] Terrence McKenna in her essay Plan/Plant/Planet in the Whole Earth Review, 1989
    [23] Excerpt from Erich Fromm's Escape from freedom, or The Fear of Freedom, 1941
    [24] a phrase used in the title sequence of most episodes of the original Star Trek science fiction television series from 1966 until now.
    Mon, Jul 5, 2010  Permanent link

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    While eating a peach on this sunny midday I wondered :
    is not the taste of the sweet fruit the gift you get for the promise you make to (re)plant the seed you found inside, whenever you are done eating it?
    Thu, Jul 15, 2010  Permanent link

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