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Exhibition: ‘Jungle Memory’ by Andreas Greiner at dittrich & schlechtriem Berlin

Text by CLOT Magazine

Jungle Memory 0001, Andreas Greiner (2019). Image created with an AI trained on thousands of forest images programmed by Daan Lockhorst

Berlin-based artist Andreas Greiner’s art draws on biology and biotechnology and questions the impact of humans on other living forms. He focuses on time-based and sculptural artworks after studying medicine, anatomy and sculpture.

His work focuses on the anthropogenic influence on nature’s evolution and form. Using his creations, Greiner charts complex concerns and exposes vital issues in contemporary society, including environmental and ecological challenges – but in times of climate change and extinction of species, can these be adequately expressed in the language of art?

In this new exhibition, Jungle Memory, Greiner recreates nature, representing his research into endangered forests in Northern Germany and Poland, and probes the relationship between ecology and technology. Amid a simulated forest and light scenario that transforms the main gallery space, he presents a large-format video work made with artificial intelligence. A dataset comprising several thousand photographs shot in the ancient Hambacher Forst and Białowieża forests was fed into a digital calculus to derive the idea of a forest.

The resulting images are layered and morphed together to create a cinematic dance of trees, bright and illusionary yet concerning and oddly foreboding of a post-human world. Another large-format picture, also generated by AI, is the counterpart to some physical sculpture, portraying this confronting forces of the digital and material.

The exhibition can be read as a cognitive and emotional collage highlighting the interdependence of historical factors, economic decisions and climate change through a concrete local example. Taking as a starting point the catastrophic situation of the forests of the Harz, the works address an immediate reality tied as much to past centuries’ silviculture as contemporary global ecological choices. With Jungle Memory, Greiner probes whether, in our age of climate change and the mass extinction of species, the language of art can adequately articulate these concerns.

Jungle Memory runs until 31st October 2020.

Text adapted from an essay Bernard Vienat contributed to the exhibition catalogue.

(Media courtesy of the gallery and the artist)
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