Daniel Steegmann

As a child I wanted to be a biologist. I was quite obsessed with the rainforests, reading everything I found. Those forests grow thick in my imagination, almost as thick as those vines barks leaves and trunks of a dense jungle. What I failed to realize then is that all this lushness of the rainforests, all those strategies and forms found, its speed of growing and rotting, is not fruit of a extreme fertility, but actually by product of the lack of nutrients, water and light, way more scarce one might imagine: The soil is actually very poor, more sandy than black-earth like. The light is tamed by thousands of leaves making a penumbra, and the canopy is so thick that the rain barely reaches the soil.

What makes the rainforest so fertile (and also so fragile) is the intense interdependency between species, one relying on each other metabolical process, literally back feeding each other. I cannot find a better metaphor for how an artist body of work should be build. If Helio Oiticica aspired to the great labyrinth, I aspire to the great jungle. Tropical nature is a great book, full with knowledge, keen observations, scientific authority and a good reading to reflect how everything in our world is entangled.

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