“From Cosmology to Neurology and Back Again” explores why human beings are so seldom able to comprehend the full dimensions of complex systems—systems from cosmology to chemical evolution, to the politics of ethnic difference, to the consequences for the world’s waters of everything from contemporary mining practices to large-scale climate change; we not only do not understand such systems, we are unconscious of the effects of our newest technologies on how we perceive and think, and thus this also is a subject explored by the exhibition.
Neurology and the cognitive sciences have given us insight into the biology of barriers to comprehension, but the biology has to be understood in the context of individual psychology and the impact of our culture on that psychology. This is in itself a complex system that has its own set of barriers to understanding.
Rather than being didactic, the exhibition works by indirection on the viewer’s unconscious perceptions, aiming to make an impact through intriguing, seductively lush visual imagery meant to lead the viewer to learn more.
For more thoughts on this exhibition, check out the Creative Loafing article by Grace Thornton. “From Cosmology to Neurology and Back Again” runs through August 4th with a curator conversation on August 2nd at whitespace.