Re-Bound is based on the direct need to focus on Nature and its place in our lives. This project is not a move back to the Romantics, but rather a wake-up call to all who live on this planet, given our utter reliance on the Earth. No philosophy, theory, physic law or formula will save us from extinction without considering the ground we depend on and walk upon. We are no angels with wings but humans grounded by gravity on the Earth.
We have Bound forward into a fast paced track lifestyle and yet the backlash of our daily lives may repel our existence. After contemplating a Buddhist inner life for more than 25 years, I have not entered into my PhD project for inner peace. It is a 3D poetic canvas that may be a temporary interactive installation or fixed art sculpture to bring people closer to their natural surroundings through tactile perception that has long been forgotten as a valid form of knowledge and inspiration.
Our ancestors used their tactile perception in contact with Nature for most of their daily life activities and survived millions of years grinding herbs, basket weaving, constructing canoes, walking paths and making art; these activities culminated in fine artisan crafts and cultural heritage. Today we have moved far away from any tactile contact with Nature not only in our daily lives that once were synchronized with art derived from Nature, but also with mass production that lacks a personal touch with the elements.
Art perhaps has lost its meaning in the void driven by high tech creative concepts. Audiences glance at the artwork that lacks a direct inspiration from Nature and move further into the rational mind disconnected from the physis. Sensation and the senses are non-sensed from their original hub of stimulation based on tactile contact and a natural surrounding context. I created this project in order that audiences may stroll in and out of the museum from the artwork to the inspiring landscapes. I hope we can Re-Bound with Nature in harmony before she leaves us in the hands of Chaos; from where she came before time began in the primordial void (according to the Greeks).
I am Dr. Rosalinda Ruiz Scarfuto and have a background in Social Ecology and Art. My PhD research was a project in studio art practice and culminated in the “Forest Flaneur” methodology (https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?did=1&uin=uk.bl.ethos.750869).
I grew up playing piano and playing in the fields. Also, I watched my neighbour craft ceramics in her own backyard studio. Urban sprawl was part of my life and I witnessed it first-hand on the outskirts of Los Angeles. My research into the tactile perception and language learning stems from early psychology courses from university. However, my poetics and ceramics form the base of my artistic practice today. Traveling around the world in a quest for understanding cultures brought me to the essence of humanity. We are the same in more ways than not.
My PhD studio art research focuses on the general public and the devastating need to bring awareness to our generation that a mere scientific view of the planet and its greenhouse effect will not change our lives. Through this research I have found that tactile contact with Nature offers me a direct way back to my "senses.” Merleau-Ponty elegantly pointed out in 1948 the validity of knowledge from the senses as an added value to humanity in reaction to the scientific grip on “rational” thought, noting Einstein's Theory of Relativity that supported varying perspectives according to the temporal-spatial relationship of the observer.
I have found the random Flaneur method of walking in Nature, rather than following a particular path from point A to point B, leaves my senses open to approach elements from new angles. I learned this type of observation from travelling in environments vastly different from my own in Asia. However, this new inter-corporal tactile attraction binds me to places I would not have gone in a visual or audio walk. I am attracted to touch them. It is the slowness of this type of walking that adds to my choices of tactile memories. These memories come from the indent on the forefinger and pass directly to my heart through the nerves. It is the imprint on the finger pads that activates other memories and at the same time adds a new piece of data to the mix; my perception is transformed.
I simultaneously touch and am touched by Nature. The elements are living organisms and I am alive with them in context. I enter a world full of dynamic changes and hence I change. My poetic voice and palette reflect those changes. I notice this process because I have walked some of my poets’ landscapes prior to embarking on this project. My poetic choices are significantly different and the flow is faster with the tactile perception memory clues. “Touch and be touched, said the drum to the drummer…” I wrote this line 20 years ago and now it makes “sense” from the inside out.
My poetry, travelogue, exhibits and academic publications may be accessed on the following websites:(click on the titles below to access the pages).