These pink and blue-tinted photographs suggest that our biology has a big influence on the way we perceive reality.
Ah, Iceland: land of the elusive elves, sadly shrinking glaciers, and tentative reforestation efforts. Iceland's natural landscape has inspired many, including artist and neuroscientist Al Mefer, who took these rather magical-looking photographs that offer another view of this unique place.
It was through the process [of travelling and photographing Iceland] that I came up with the idea I wanted to create a series as otherworldly as the experience of visiting the country was being for me. For this, images are injected with colours that have a special meaning for our survival. The red of blood and the pink hues of the skin. These colours are very connected to several aspects of our lives and making the landscapes appear in these tones creates a dreamlike feeling that expresses how they were for me.
Though there are humans that sometimes populate Mefer's images of Iceland, there's still a feeling of misty solitude to them; the people are small-scaled, relative to the jagged beauty of the large-scale organism that is the living earth.
Mefer says he chose to add these hints of colour, based on his work in neuroscience:
I came up with some ideas for projects because of neurobiological knowledge (such as in my projects named 'Phantoms of the Brain'). Moreover, knowing how our perception of reality is just one of many, with animals with different light-sensitive cells and visual processing circuitry, constantly fuels me with inspiration. It's a common idea in my projects to make the viewer think of experiences different to theirs and how our vision of the world is limited by our particular constraints, both as biological entities and as individuals in particular environments.
That approach raises an interesting question for the anthropocentric part of us that tends to focus on humans being at the centre of the everything: what wider visions are we are failing to see due to our narrow perception of reality? To see more, visit Al Mefer and Instagram.