No Bryce, plants don’t just grow out of the ground; they also grow into the air.
— Dr. Rudolf Becking (Grandfather)

BINARIUM – Captured using a flatbed scanner, the plant subjects of this series were put into a diversity of motions, performances, and gestures to create abnormal forms (all analogue processes – no Photoshop, no pixel manipulation). The resulting images move between representational & abstract and go on to explore boundaries and relationships between physical & digital, nature & technology, form & energy, beauty & glitch, perception & reality.

At the time making this series, I found myself absorbed in a question: what does it mean for Nature – the physical universe – to evolve to the point in which it can definitively control its own evolution?

To put this in context, here’s a brief history of how complexity has evolved: 1) A self-replicating class of molecules emerged (DNA and RNA), triggering the process of biological evolution. 2) intelligent organisms emerge following millions of years of evolution. 3) Homo sapiens improves their evolutionary fitness by harnessing tools. 4) Tools evolve into advancing technologies, becoming increasingly integrated into biology. 5) At current pace, humans will merge with technology, seizing active control over evolution in itself.

Experts in the fields of AI, nanotechnology, and biotech have set clear benchmarks for the merger and acceleration to occur with our lifetimes. With such immeasurable power within reach, we face one of the most perplexing and consequential questions of the 21st century: what should we want to want?

Binarium is a personal meditation on the topic and intends to act as a simplified means to raise discussion of such questions.

Visuals, ScanographyBryce Willem