This is a short clip of the art installation Magic Fores; made in 2002.
Two projectors project slides onto three voile screens set between the projectors. The sequence lasts 25 minutes. Magic Forest was shown at the Science Museum in March 2002, at the Rotterdam Film Festival, Rotterdam, Holland, 2003 and at the Natuurmuseum, Rotterdam, a show called Mensbeeld, in 2004, in Simply Complex at the Design Museum in Zurich in 2005, and in Neuroculture, at the Westport Art Centre, Connecticut, USA in 2006, at Exit Art in New York in 2009, at the Pera Museum in Istanbul, and at the Hygiene Museum Dresden, in 2011. Two articles have appeared in the journal Nature about Magic Forest. A static version of the time-based piece is now based at the Wellcome Trust Headquarters, London.
The work arose from a collaboration with Dr Richard Wingate, of the Medical Research Council Centre for Developmental Neurology, at Kings College, London and was developed with the support of Dr Ken Arnold and Prof Marina Wallas. The work tracks the development, proliferation, and organisation of neurones in the growing brain. The work reflects 1. The changing organisation in the brain, developing to being capable of holding memories, and 2. The process of collecting the raw data for such scientific work through the use of the laser confocal microscope.
The work starts with the location of the growing brain in the skull and proceeds with an ever-growing forest of neurones developing on the screens; the mass increases, filling the whole screen with layers and layers of neurones in different colours. The work ends when the system collapses and the neurones disappear, blackness returns and the skull is shown again getting larger and larger and the work begins to cycle around once more. Each cycle lasts about fifteen minutes. The colours in the work reflect the fluorescence used and seen in the staining of individual neurones, which produce the images under the confocal microscope.
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