The English naturalist, Charles Darwin spoke of survival of the fittest—or in Darwin’s own words “Survival of the form that will leave the most copies of itself in successive generations.” Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher and Darwin’s contemporary stated that “The survival of the fittest, which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called ‘natural selection,’ or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.”
Today we see a struggle created by mankind that stems from neglect in caring for our environment, from carelessly forgetting to preserve natural resources and not consistently participating in beneficial trends of recycling trash into resourceful products that would benefit our future. Many artistic communities favor gestures of recycling and exhibit successful prototypes of recycled goods in fashion, house decor and living.
In the case of Sterling Rook’s Camo 1984, the viewer can celebrate trashy, flamboyant neon mats, stacked haphazardly upon each other. These loosely serve up an architecture worthy of Miami Beach’s candy-colored landscapes. Michael Gray, by contrast, proposes dark, humorous renderings of scenarios with a bleak twist. Nephilim is a monotype print on paper that portrays a car on top a raft strapped on, presumably, with all it needs to drift away into waterworld.
With the artists work taken together, What plans the better idea presents new modes of survival, natural selection and mechanizations that use the present to explore ways to influence the future.