AMAZON AND THE AMAZON
Artists Anicka Yi and Pamela Rosenkranz engage with the Amazon through technology in their work.
Anicka Yi’s The Flavor Genome uses 3-D film to explore the artist's field-research in the Amazon, informed by science fiction, the cultural ideas of taste, and indigenous Amazonian beliefs.
Pamela Rosenkranz explores the intersections of culture, capitalism, and natural evolution through her work Amazon and the Amazon. In another work Amazon (Container of the Substance Anemine), proteins found in Amazonian insects are considered as natural enhancers of human perception.
Explore the work surrounding the Amazon in the digital age. Learn more from Rosenkranz's essay and Anicka Yi's Summit talk transcript in the 2018 Verbier Art Summit publication More than Real.
Excerpt from Essay
Reflections and Findings on the 2018 Verbier Art Summit
by John Slyce
The artist Anicka Yi spoke on her projects that explore how synthetic biology has dismantled and reconfigured our thinking about our species and evolution. Yi is interested in bio-fictions that fuse the writing of life with the creation of life. The non-human is here included and may indeed have their own life worlds, or umwelt. In her art, Yi explores the materiality these bio-fictions may put forth: be it scent, object or linguistic. Her art examines the senses and how these may shape our experience. For example, smell is pre-verbal and visceral. Everything that comes later is socially and culturally conditioned. How will the digital and technologies of VR and AI reconfigure our senses?
Pamela Rosenkranz’s art work examines the shifting meanings of the natural and human, or nature and culture in language and art. She works with immaterial elements and explores the intersection of medicine, microbiology – for example, the links between parasite and smell and how these immaterial forces may define and delimit the journey of attraction between parasite and host. Rosenkranz suggested we register art as movement and deal with it with the same area of the brain that registers predator or prey. Her art explores scent and material, increasingly linking corporate consumerism and the relentless, spectacular expansion and evolution of Amazon.com while linking this to the origin of the corporation’s name with the region and river and movement into the land. Rosenkranz has recently embarked on a seemingly impossible project to collect all the names of items available starting with ‘the letter a’ through the Amazon.com interface. Tying together the ancient, or primordial with the postmodern, Rosenkranz explores how contemporary consumerist products tie into such forces: from Chanel No. 5 and cat pheromones, to Amazon.com or the 2 pounds of micro-biotic organisms we carry with us each day in the human body.