Thursday, March 20, 2008

Meeting in the Middle

20 x 29cm (A4)
Found photographs, silver thread, metal chain, Hagenbutte / Rose Hip tea bag (used for the color)

Please note: The longest chain on the left hangs off the page.


"For years, scientists have known that attraction is more likely to happen when people are aroused, be it through laughter, anxiety or fear. Aron tested that theory in 1974 on the gorgeous but spine-chilling heights of the Capilano Canyon Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia -- a 5-foot wide, 450-foot, wobbly, swaying length of wooden slats and wire cable suspended 230 feet above rocks and shallow rapids.
His research team waited as unsuspecting men, between ages 18 and 35 and unaccompanied by women, crossed over. About halfway across the bridge, each man ran into an attractive young woman claiming to be doing research on beautiful places. She asked him a few questions and gave him her phone number in case he had follow-up questions. The experiment was repeated upriver on a bridge that was wide and sturdy and only 10 feet above a small rivulet. The same attractive coed [female student] met the men, brandishing the same questionnaire.
The result? Men crossing the scary bridge rated the woman on the Capilano bridge more attractive. And about half the men who met her called her afterward. Only two of 16 men on the stable bridge called. Fear got their attention and aroused emotional centers in the brain. "People are more likely to feel aroused in a scary setting," Aron says. "It's pretty simple. You're feeling physiologically aroused, and it's ambiguous why. Then you see an attractive person, and you think, 'Oh, that's why.' "

Any kind of physiological arousal would probably do the trick, Aron concludes from his studies. Couples who ride roller coasters, laugh at a really funny comedian or escape a burning building together get an emotional jolt and could attribute the feeling to the attractiveness of the other.

By Susan Brink - Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The original study can be found here.


I read this article about a year ago and found it fascinating. In many ways it makes sense of course. Emotional bonding can take place in an extreme state of physical perilousness.
I used to wait tables at Christopher's Cafe (which I don't think is there anymore) in Berkeley, California. One night I was scheduled to work but was also on the verge of being evacuated from my house because of a huge fire (a.k.a Oakland Hills Fire - which in the end burned 6.2 kilometers of area) on the hillside. I notified my colleagues that I would have to leave in case things got worse or there was a wind shift...I went to work ever so slightly panicked (to say the least).
That night the restaurant was packed with all the regulars that didn't usually come on that night. Fear stricken faces permeated the place.... People's homes were burning and they decided to come to their favorite restauratnt to have some supper because they didn't know what else to do. It was an intensely bonding evening throughout the whole restaurant.
I will never forget that night.


Nadja said...

I read about that research too :-)
Love the stories that accompany your artworks!!!
reading about the background often makes me smile.

hannah said...

oh April- I think this is a great one too! I remember hearing a couple months back on radio lab (a really great radio show on new york public radio) a story that a neurologist told about one of his students who was in love with another student who didnt notice him. he knew that people fall in love when they are in these tense situations and that is how the brain functions and so on- so when the class took a reasearch trip to Mumbai India, he decided to take said girl on a wild ride through the wild streets on one of those wild little bike car (rickshaw?) things, which i hear is supposed to be dangerous. she would have to fall in love with him if they shared this experience. science said so. after the wild and crazy ride where they almost died a bunch of times, the student said to the girl, "wow, that was wild, wasnt it?" and she goes "yeah- absolutely crazy, and wasnt the driver totally sexy?"

i love the chain. i am really into pictures that know how to accesorize. for real.
keep up the good work!

Je est un autre said...

I love your drawing and collages. are super!!! :D