Like a lot of artists these days, Meech Miyagi and Mikko Lautamo look to science and system theory to explain human behavior. Miyagi, a sculptor, investigates neurobiology. Lautamo, a video artist, examines the interaction of bacteria, viruses and gene pools. Their conclusions: We may harbor exalted notions of culture — embodied in art, religion, politics and economics — but ultimately, it's biological forces that control the human enterprise. That may sound bleak – Darwinian, even — but the visual representations of the phenomena they set forth are compelling, sometimes beautifully so.
Lautamo, who also earned an MA in art at Sac State, writes computer programs that generate colorful, gear-shaped images reminiscent of those seen in the works of the Brazilian P&D painter Beatrice Milhazes. Lautamo’s churn onto the screen slowly and decay. They break into shards that pile up in the background to form a kind of electronic graveyard. He calls the piece Agro, the term video gamers use to denote violent, aggressive behavior. It’s an attempt to depict the birth-to-death cycle of all life forms and the interdependent systems of which they are a part. In a statement he describes it as “a conflict between individuals, that “meet and interact and war, and make peace and betray and live and die. They do not decide to be…destructive, but they often are. Even the benign or the helpful individual is drafted into the service of a violent machine, and though each part in that machine is only seeking its own betterment and well being, each part is blind to the global and emergent effects of their happenstance coalitions.”