Monday, August 02, 2010

August 2 Body Habitat Readout

Migration and exploration are our twin romances as a species. From the origins of life there has been migration. But the emergence of bipeds with a beefy neocortex in Africa brings us to Portland today. Somewhere in Africa over 200 thousand years ago we find fossil evidence of homo sapiens. A more detailed genetic analysis finds a mitochondrial "Eve" about that time and a Y-chromosomal "Adam" about 60 thousand years ago incorporating the L2 genetic unit, which is associated in some theories with a great leap forward in human creativity. From Africa, our ancestors migrated by foot to cover Earth, excepting Antarctica, before the age of fossil fuels.

Central to human creativity is exploration. Between twin reward systems, one for familiarity and one for the novel, exploration rewards novel. We have records of explorers from the first recorded history, the Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks. We have a romance with exploration. We study the history of the names that survived. Names like Marco Polo, Columbus, Stanley, the first astronauts and cosmonauts.

The definition of contemporary art evolves continually. It firmly includes exploration by artists walking such as Francis Alÿs, Janet Cardiff and Lone Twin. Lone Twin inspired Portland and Corvallis artists Lily Gael & Lisa Wells to walk from Corvallis to Portland, recording their experience in their blog Body Habit. They arrive in Portland to report in person on their project tonight. It's at At Performance Works Northwest 6:30PM Free