Jungle Memory, Andreas Greiner's latest series of works, uses machine learning to question the human understanding of nature. The impending destruction of forests around the world is the impetus for this photographic documentation of forests, executed in thousands of images. While our idea of nature in art has traditionally been expressed through landscape painting, it is now being reinterpreted for the digital age. It is not captured by human senses, but by a deep-learning algorithm. The technological appropriation of the natural world creates a digital hallucination that recalls the sublime experience of nature from Romanticism. During the process of applied machine learning, the project took a self-critical turn by analysing its own power consumption.
Abschied (Harz) is one of the central works in the series. It shows a video of a virtual forest that is constantly changing. The algorithm, developed in collaboration with the programmer Daan Lockhorst, creates digital forest landscapes in constant motion. Trained by an extensive forest photo archive taken by Andreas Greiner in the forest of Goslar, the artificial intelligence has learned to generate forest images. In a peculiar dancing movement, immersive, sometimes mysterious images are created. Will the forest of the future possibly look like this, or will these be the only reminiscences of the natural habitat? This forest remains alive on the screen, albeit with a melancholic and even unsettling touch, as if it were dreaming. The sound work Vom Walde, created in collaboration with Louis McGuire, complements the work. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's choral piece "Abschied vom Walde" is synthesised with a video tracking algorithm, extremely slowed down and creates an alienated, abstract landscape.
ANDREAS GREINER, *1979, Aachen (DE), lives and works in Berlin.
Andreas Greiner works with time-based sculptures incorporating dynamic and uncontrollable variables. His practice includes exploring possible extensions of classical parameters in sculpture. In terms of content, he focuses on the influence of anthropogenic interventions in the form and evolution of "nature". He is part of the artist collectives A/A and Das Numen. In 2019, Andreas Greiner co-initiated the participatory project waldfuermorgen e. V., in which families and children plant trees on an area of around three hectares near Goslar.