Nature Moves in Curves

The Wrong Biennale
Festival Internaciónal de Cine de Perú

2017 - 2018.

Language: English (Spanish Version here)
Categories: Shows&Projects

NATURE MOVES IN CURVES (3:06 min.) is a video artwork by MANIKA POST (Lima, 1985), in which the multidisciplinary Peruvian artist explores the conceptual impact of the newest physical and mathematical theories and conjectures raised from the Einstein's theory of Relativity.

Mixing short videos related to science and nature, downloaded from the Internet, the aim of Nature Moves in Curves is showing us how nature really knows how to act and create, always following the fastest and most perfect and curved ways.

"In life, as in art, the Beautiful moves in curves," said Lord Lytton, and so does it in nature.

In 1905, whilst Europe was settling the basis for that period we still keep in mind as the Middle Ages of our epoch, the physicist Albert Einstein started a wider revolution within our mindset, smashing out the old concept of time. Like Poincaré and Lorentz's studies, Einstein's work suggested the idea that time should not be considered as "absolute" — as it was supposed to be up until then (Isaac Newton, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica) — but it turned out to be relative, ‘observer-dependent,’ and so strictly connected to the space. Assuming, hereafter, time as the 4th dimension we are living in, Einstein theorized that temporal duration depends on the observer and his position, hence explaining why we perceive time as going faster in some point of the Universe, rather than on the Earth.

Inspired by this idea and the non-euclidean Riemann geometry, some years later the mathematician H. Minkowski created a mathematical 4-dimensional structure that connected the Space and the Time, the better known “space-time” or “Minkowski space-time,” which was used by Einstein as a local model to easily describe his physical theory. The main property of the space-time was linked to its peculiar geometry — according to Einstein indeed the space-time is not flat, but distorted, curved by objects because of their mass and energy. That distortion in space-time is what we feel as gravity, this was the key idea of Einstein's theory of general relativity, finally published in 1915. By doing so, space-time says to matter how to move, whilst matter says to space-time how to curve itself: but removing matter, space and time do not exist anymore.

This amazing conjecture suggested the idea that objects, like the Earth, aren’t forced to follow curved paths by the force of gravity, but that they just follow the straightest possible paths in that 4-dim space-time, now distorted, defined as the geodesic lines (the minimum line that can be drawn on any surface between any two points), perceived in a 3-dim space structure as a curved line. And, just as objects, so does light, deflected by gravity and moving on the straightest-possible lines in curved space-time.

Likewise, even if we look behind the theory of relativity, we discover that curves seem to us occurring constantly in nature as the only possible paths. From sea shells and flowers petals to spiral galaxies, from the romantic beauty hidden in a planetary nebula to the structure of human lungs and the DNA molecule, the natural fractal patterns, the Fibonacci sequence and the golden section are all around us, depicting how nature strictly moves in curves. Fluctuating between the senses of extreme contraction and expansion, as W. Goethe said, even the human soul steady advances in a spiral movement, rather than through linear progression, just like rivers reach their own destinations following curved paths, which average sinuosity is the stunning pi, rather than straight ones.

In such a matter, conceived as a conceptual journey, this piece by Manika Post deals with the microcosm and macrocosm, mingling in between materiality and transcendental spirituality of elements, and playing with metaphors created by the poetic interconnection of images and sounds.