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Everything is Energy

Gabriel Gutierrez: Team Toronto

Team led by Ozant Kamaci

Project Essay: The Path of Least Resistance

“From nature’s point of view there is no energy shortage, there never has been and never will be.” —Jay Harman, How Would Nature Do It?1

The spiral: It is the shape in which many organisms grow and are structured; it is the shape in which most elements move; it is the shape in which energy flows; it is the path of least resistance. From immense nebulae in space to the microscopical particle decay. From the hair crown on a person’s head, to the whirlpool that gets formed when you pull out the plug in a tub. The spiral is, in fact, the most recurrent shape in nature; and just like this, there are many other patterns that get repeated all along the universe. Yet, we have failed to implement aspects like this in our society. Knowing that nature has been going through tasks for millennia, solving problems we are going through just now, we stubbornly refuse to give nature the credit it deserves. I believe we are swimming against the current, building a society in the same form that our minds are shaped, square. And this doesn’t coincide with how the land is structured, we are destroying what may be our only ally; yet, ironically we are a part of this thing we call nature, right? Or aren’t we?

1Jay Harman’s speech on "Biomimicry, How Would Nature Do It?" For Terra.

Creative Brief: The Path of Least Resistance, July 31st, 2011

I started this project thinking about humans; what is our relation with energy? We can feel it in our bodies, we need it and use it to do our daily activities, but can this energy we feel be transformed and used to our advantage? I looked into the practice of “Reiki” and the potential of “Kinetic” energy.

I then moved onto exploring the field of “Biomimicry” an emerging field of science that looks for innovation inspired by nature. It was very interesting for me to see how certain patterns are constantly being repeated in nature at a big scale — such as in space — and in a smaller scale, such as in microscopical beings. What if humans were to copy these patterns while creating technology? Would we be able to live in a more sustainable way? I realized that life (nature) goes on within us and without us (humans) and that, no matter what, nature will not be defeated; even though some people may think the contrary, by polluting the earth all we’re doing is destroying our own home, and not nature.

The spiral is the most common shape we can see in nature, it is the pattern in which energy flows. It is “The Path of Least Resistance.”

I want to use this pattern in my project, to look for it in whirlpools, flowers, nature in general, technologies and in humans. I want to photograph spirals, and also add the whole concept of scale. I want to shift the sizes of things we normally don’t think about, which will add a surreal element that I love to see in photographs.

The purpose of this project is to question standards, reverse roles, to make people see the bigger picture. Let’s forget for a minute about everything we see related to energy in the media, the traditional and the innovative, and let’s look at the very basics of what energy is, and how it flows. What will we see if we look with new eyes?

“I. Water”
All images in this article © Gabriel Gutierrez

“II. Human”

“III. Plant”

For more about Gabriel Gutierrez and his photography, visit his Web site: