The Brain as City
September 15, 2011
Yesterday we took a look at Michael Hansmeyer’s 16-million-faceted plastic columns, the material products of an inconceivably complex algorithm. Meanwhile, artist Yaron Steinburg has dared to construct something that is perhaps even more multifaceted: his own brain. In a quirky “Being John Malkovich”-esque installation, Steinburg invites viewers to and grasp the immensely complex organ that is the source of his thoughts, fears and dreams. Click to see more!
Steinburg’s installation portrays the brain as if it were a city. The artist presents us with a hovering elliptical form, crammed with tiny cardboard houses in a seemingly random arrangement, tightly packed with almost no room to breathe. Meanwhile, a rickety toy train on an elevated track encircles the cavernous space while lights glow on and off, assuring us that this miniature metropolis is very much alive.
This re-imagined human brain seems more analogous to a slum than to any conventional urban ideal. Like a slum, the brain does not reveal its intricacies by exposing its design. Instead, it works in mysterious ways, moving through invisible systems and unseen channels that escape explanation.