The artist for this issue is one of us guest editors, namely Pille Bunnell, so what follows in this section is in her voice:
It is a special privilege to be able to offer my photos as the artwork for this special issue and to do so as a further homage to Humberto Maturana. He had a deep appreciation of the beauty in the natural world and expressed the opinion that such appreciation is not only a human faculty but is shared by other animals. To me that makes sense, as the experience of beauty seems to be the consequence of seeing coherence, or fit, with and within one’s medium. This in turn seems to be a natural consequence of living always happening in the dynamic of structural coupling, a process that both creates and thrives in coherences. It is only the reflective pause that we humans excel given that we live in a languaging niche. Sometimes it is immensely refreshing to abandon the world that arises in language and experience in a manner that feels more direct. Most of my images are derived from such moments. They are a response to my own encounters with the natural world, to those moments when perceived harmonies override any sense of naming or classifying; of considering anything other than an evoked sense of beauty.
Yet even as I claim this as an experience, I remain aware that even that which is experienced without any sense of language is also in recursive structural coupling with the languages (idiomas) I have lived in. (Idiomas: In Spanish there is a nice distinction between language as what we humans do (lenguaje) and the various languages we have evolved (idiomas). Here I mean the latter, as I think differently in the idiomas I know as a native speaker.)
Given my awareness that the human brain has evolved and developed in the dynamics of living in language, the way of being present, without consideration of naming or distinguishing, that gave rise to these images is after all not incongruous with the requirement to provide a name for each published image. In the event, I have named some of the images by what we socially agree they represent, whereas I have named others by alluding to some particular notion from Maturana’s network of ideas. I found that I could create an imagined congruence that enabled me to map a dynamic notion to a static photo. This allocation of Maturana’s notions to images feels rather presumptuous, yet it is an interesting exercise to consider what one distinguishes in a visual derived from some glimpse such that one can attribute a notion in language to that image. Better yet if in that mapping one can explore a further nuance of the notion itself, as was the case for me. Thus, even as we invited you to consider your own networks of understanding as your own evolved ecology of ideas, so we would also like to invite you to consider and reflect on whatever the images evoke for you.
Finally, I wish to state that I appreciate the opportunity to include several images that evoke some of the many aspects of my beloved friend and mentor, Humberto.