Synaptic Route: Endangered
synapse: the point at which a nervous impulse passes from one neuron
synaptic route: physical/chemical path in the “circuitry” of the
brain made by the repeated passage of nervous impulses
Synaptic Route is a series of works using the grid and pattern
to simultaneously document brain patterning and images of rare plants.
Plant parts including the flower and fruit have a natural symmetry and
intricacy - characteristics which lend themselves to the repetition of
The idea for documenting brain patterning came from the term “muscle memory”
which I learned as a professional modern dancer. Dancers and athletes
in particular use this term to to describe the conjunction of mental memory
and the conditioning of muscles to perform a particular movement or action.
This idea for me spread into an exploration of patterns of thought, specifically
those related to repetitive physical actions.
In the Synaptic Route series this means giving attention to the
physical synaptic route activated in the brain while creating. I wanted
to “watch” and determine the formation of a synaptic route as it happened
and document it in my work. In order for the pattern to be precise enough
for a habit to form I needed a base structure: the grid.
The grid allows for substantially exact repetitions of a drawing which
appear almost mechanical. The process of repeated drawing enables a precise
route to “burn” into the brain. Each painting is a program designed to
create a synaptic route for each image selected. This series features
endangered plant species, species of special concern and rare plants.
Replicating endangered plants artificially not only produces documentation
of the synaptic route, but the pattern itself dematerializes the surface
of the painting creating a state of mind not unlike meditation. In this
stillness and quiet endangered plants can be contemplated.