In 1957 Borges published the book – “Handbook of Fantastic Zoology” which later came to be known as: The Book of Imaginary Beings. It contains descriptions of 120 mythical beasts from literature and mythologies of many origins; creatures, conceived through time by the human imagination.
While going over this work, a question hunted me: how to read this book? Should one read it as a window into human imagination? Is it a rare porthole into the stuff of creation, past and future? Or else, is the book just demonstrating the limitats of human imagination when confronted with the richness of nature?
It was this line of hard distinction between imagination, nature and time that caught my attention. What would happen by looking at nature and imagination as expressions of the same ‘stuff’, a continuum where the one endlessly spills into the other?
Nature may be impersonating a richness, generated by the over-abundance of time, while imagination reverberates richness by the generative power of minds, punctuating time with condensed, embodied singularities, transiting a trace of reality. Yet both thread the same canopy of vital matter.
The dissolution of difference between reality and representation, imagination and nature, is not dissolution into flatness, but rather, it brings into presence soft and active matter. It is the doing of the conscious space where the continuum of nature and imagination emerge, always in a process of interpenetrations, always demanding iteration. To trace the real means uncovering realities previously unseen and unimagined, carving bridges between the realms and reformulating that which already exists.
Conversation with Impossible Creatures is born out of the exploration that interprets such a continuum of imagination and nature, and attempts to achieve it by the attentive usage of ‘bridges’, those bridges I refer to as technologies.
The first bridge is between the ‘product’ of imagination, (i.e. a painting) traditionally perceived as single and stationary across time, and the generative richness of the creative process, a dynamic, and continuously opening progress. In this case it is digital, photographic and generative technologies that allow the opening of the image into a multitude, and disclose its otherwise invisible image-cells, now free to continue mutating in interaction.
The second bridge is between image and language; those two separate categories which when tuned a-synchronously and are re-integrated into a dynamic process, provoke the penetration of reflectivity into the fascinating ‘absurd’ of every ‘terra incognita’.
The third and most important bridge is between minds, in birthing an extended reality, a reality that comes to life only by virtue of such a unique bridge. The process of iterative approximations between mind sights becoming an event, a new world being disclosed and discovered.
Technology (of bridging) exposes the ‘middle’, the constant leaking of medium into medium, and mind into mind, unfolding its ‘everywhereness’, opening by that a corridor into a new transitory ‘home’ for perception.
A world full of amazing creatures, that came into existence only through collaboration, between processes, between moments and sights, bridged by the technologies we created, I found this line as significant in light of our future.
(Disclosure: Proud to be part of this collaboration)