Tuesday, November 11, 2014

in dreams

My equine hero is In Dreams, my foal is Looking Back: a young horse looking to an older, wiser horse, learning about life in the herd. Normal, real behaviour. I don’t know what horses dream of, but an image of youth, counter-pointed with the introspection or dreaming that comes with ageing seems highly metaphorical too.


In Dreams (L), Looking Back (R). Chased aluminium panels in alder frames.
11x11x2 ins and 9x9x2 ins. 2014.

Life in the herd—or the family, or the village… I find myself reflecting on my younger self, my life experiences, looking back from here. There is questioning, and curiosity: what if? Did I make the right decision? Maybe other species aren’t burdened by (or able to enjoy) this mental movie playback of their lives?

I wonder about the possibility of many realities: what if this life I’m leading, my consciousness here and now, is just one version of all the possible options? What if I made all the other versions of those decisions too, and they are all playing out, somewhere else... Including some of the decisions I wish were different - like having to sell my four-legged best friend because I was leaving home for university.

I always thought things would be different when I was the grown-up, making all the decisions. Life really seemed so much clearer looking forward than it does looking back.

These two pictures are part of my installation, "In Dreams", depicting horse behaviours, on show at the Alberta Craft Council in Edmonton, Alberta, until December 24, 2014.

Physics is a passion in my household. If you want to know more about actual, real-world thinking about many realities or the multiverse, I highly recommend spending some time with the excellent Sean Carroll:
http://discovermagazine.com/2011/oct/18-out-there-welcome-to-the-multiverse - easy read.
https://www.ted.com/talks/sean_carroll_distant_time_and_the_hint_of_a_multiverse - higher level but very entertaining talk.
http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2014/06/30/why-the-many-worlds-formulation-of-quantum-mechanics-is-probably-correct/ Sean Carroll on why it is OK to create an infinite number of universes.



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

fight

There is now only one breed of truly wild horse walking on our planet, Przewalski’s Horse, and the last wild specimens were seen in Mongolia in 1966.


Fight (For Survival). Chased oxidized aluminum panel in alder frame. 11x9x2 ins. 2014.

Fight (For Survival) shows a typical Przewalski-like horse on the right, fighting with a horse showing a much more domesticated profile (left). This was the battle experienced by the dominant male in “Wild Horses Return To China” (1) when the herd of newly-released Przewalski’s met up with the inquisitive (and hungry) domesticated horses brought into the release station territory by nomadic herdsmen. 

Captive breeding programs have provided horses for re-introduction into the ancestral ranges in Mongolia and western China. Since the first releases in 1990, Mongolia has built up a herd of 115 ’takhi’ (the local name for the horses), with 76 born into the wild preserves set aside for them to roam. Listening to the research scientists (2), it appears that the first rule of this fight is that we need to talk… To consider the problem of habitat loss that is occurring even as captive breeding continues; compare this to the value of protecting native environments as a priority. After all, if we don’t, will we ever have anywhere to release animals back into?

(1) http://youtu.be/Cg2tVKvKp1A Pure Nature Specials Wild Horses Return To China.
(2) http://youtu.be/4tMFyL5PRr0 Science Bulletins: The Last Wild Horse—The Return of Takhi to Mongolia, American Museum Of Natural History.

This picture is one of a 17-piece installation, "In Dreams", depicting horse behaviours, on show at the Alberta Craft Council in Edmonton, Alberta, until December 24, 2014.