Stretching the Limit

Stretching the Limit - 

The scientific and artistic idea upon which the work is based

 

In recent years, I have been dealing with the fragile relationships that exist between the functionality of everyday materials, such as office rubber bands, brushes, paper bags on one hand, and their appearance and physical properties such as flexibility, stiffness, softness etc. on the other. My emphasis is on simple “low-tech” products and on the raw materials used to produce them, with the objective of interpreting and re-interpreting them within the framework of artistic objects and installations. My preference is to find and collect the suitable materials for my work in Industrial plants and factories where the products are actually produced. What interests me is how to take the physical properties of the raw materials and use them in order to present an idea, concept or form.

 

When I saw Professor Orit Sheffi's fascinating presentation on the scientific research she does on nano-based platforms for controlling neuronal organization and growth, I immediately saw the similarities between the visuals and processes in her work and mine. I instinctively knew that this could be a perfect basis for collaboration between us.  I saw the microscopic images in her presentation, and inspired me to see how they can be used to express an idea or concept that can be both scientific and artistic – jointly and independently.

 

Professor Sheffi’s explanations and descriptions regarding the shapes and physical properties of neurons reminded me of the look and feel of rubber band chains and connections, which have very similar characteristics. That is why I chose rubber bands as the most  appropriate material for this art project. 

 

My main objective is to stimulate an intellectual dialogue about concepts such as repair, restoration, healing, growth, effort, patience, and systematic procedures.

An additional objective is to simulate in an artistic form the behavior and dynamics of the neurons in the laboratory.
I also want to portray the contrast between the size of the laboratory nano-objects that cannot be seen by the naked eye and the large-scale installation; it is as if after the primary magnification under the microscope, there is a secondary enlargement of the object.  

 

The rubber bands no longer serve their traditional function, and instead their properties are used to represent an idea. They also serve to arouse curiosity in a way that is different from the usual scientific language (microscopic photographs, etc.). 

 

Simple and plain rubber bands are unexpectedly used to represent complicated scientific processes:  They enable visualization of the neuron in their laboratory environment. rubber and neurons are both organic materials, there is a similarity between the gelatin characteristic of the Collagen protein and rubber and both grow and stretch through mechanical stimulation.