The Primate project
An investigation of the human instincts.
The project includes an exhibition, two Cd’s and a web page.
Experiments have shown that much of the human repertoire of behavior originates in deeply buried regions of the brain that once directed the business of life for our ancestors”. Jastrow
The inspiration for this project came from a discussion with a friend, about whether or not humans are innately evil. I said that this is not the case. That humans are driven by a need of self-preservation and self-realisation, and that this is a force which is related to instinct. When our identities are threatened, we fight.
My friend maintained the opposite; ”Look at all the evil things humans are capable of doing”.
Exhibition Primates Society
The discussion resulted in my exhibit ’Primates Society’ at the Kalmar Museum of Art in 1997, which was the start of this project.
The picture shows the logo for the exhibition.
From an open window at the entrance of the Museum, (exhibition Primates Society), you could hear a man and a woman viciously quarreling. The realism created insecurity in the visitors.
This quarrel was presented as a separate work on CD when Stockholm was Cultural Capital of Europe. It was presented as part of the project ’Konstautomaten’, where the public could buy art from ordinary candy machines placed in different public places around the city.
The project continued in year 2000 with the English version of CD Primates and the web project PRIMATE SOCIETY. The project was subsidized by The Arts Grants Commettee, Sweden.
The English Primate project was released and presented in London May 2000
The web project ’PRIMATES SOCIETY – evolution and survival’
Inspired by The Blair Witch Project web page I made unique site, where I investigated our human instincts.
The web page had many visitors and existed until 2015, when I had to change web hotel., the html-coding was old … Maybe I will renew this site, publish it again, maybe…
Five different sections, among them;
– A ’Survival’ section about the development of homo sapiens, with pictures (some nasty ones) and texts. A maze of texts and images where the viewer could walk around threads for hours.
– A Discussion board, PRIMATE SOCIETY Message Board which ended 2009.
My comment 2009: ”The purpose with this Discussion Board was to discuss our instincts, how far humans really have evolved. The result however were often offensive and nasty messages. Maybe these messages show more of us humans than a serious discussion… Maybe these messages are related to primate behaviour…”
– A poll, primates poll, where visitors could vote on different issues;
1. Are you loved?
2. Are you hurting someone?
3. Do you need control?
4. Can you trust yourself?
YES NO MAYBE
How do you answer these questions?…
Quotations that have been part of this project.
”Lying under the cerebral hemispheres, at the top of the brain stem, are the reptile brain and the brain of the old mammal, which contain the basic survival programs related to flight from danger, hunger, thirst, procreation and parental care. These parts of the human brain evolved between 100 million and 300 million years ago.
Today the cerebral cortex, newest and most important region in the human brain, folds around and smothers the older and more primitive regions. Yet these regions have not been completely overpowered. They remain underneath, no longer in undisputed command of the body, but still active.
These primitive parts of the human brain continue to operate in accordance with a stereotyped and unthinking set of programs that go back to the mammals on the forest floor, and back farther still to the reptiles who spawned the mammal tribe.
Experiments have shown that much of the human repertoire of behavior originates in deeply buried regions of the brain that once directed the business of life for our ancestors”.
From the book: ”The Enchanted Loom, Mind in the Universe” by ROBERT JASTROW
”Culture is an agent for flexible control of action that follows its own dynamics of evolution. One of its functions is to modulate impulses, once adaptive but now hazardous, with origins in genetic predisposition that biological evolution would require many hundreds of generations to change.
There is a certain flexible – yet definable – human nature that has been shaped by biological evolution and that continues to influence human life.”
Arne Öhman, Professor of Psychology