Janus Høm at 1857

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Artist: Janus Høm

Curated by: Honza Hoeck

Venue: 1857, Oslo, Norway

Date: November 20 – January 11, 2014

Photography: Courtesy of 1857

Dear audience, we are proud to introduce Janus Høm, an artist and a human being.

Being human, Janus Høm has two arms and two legs, held together by a torso, with a head on top. Inside sits his brain, an organ that weighs a little over 1.3 kgs and contains billions of neurons. These nerve cells form the most basic signaling units of his brain, and use chemical and electromagnetic signals to transmit information.

A neuron is specialized to produce different actions because of its precise connections with other neurons, sensory receptors, and muscle cells. The interactions between neurons enable Janus Høm to think, move, breathe and feel –  they are the foundation of his artistic practice.

Each nerve cell connect with others through hundreds of synapses, which spark chemical reactions as the impulses spread across the nervous system. Our best estimates say there are more synapses in Janus Høm’s brain than there are stars in the Milky Way. And much like the universe is expanding, the neurons constantly form new synapses and strengthen existing connections in response to his life experiences.

Inside Janus Høm’s brain, every decision made, every inexplicable craving or mood swing, and every heartbeat, make the synapses flood with neurotransmitters. The brain reward system releases dopamine, which inhibits electrical signals in a pleasurable way. To aid learning and to memory glutamate excites the neurons. Gamma-aminobutyric acid is a major inhibitory transmitter and is important to induce sleep, reduce anxiety, and form memories. Mood, appetite and sensory perception are affected by serotonin, which also inhibits pain.

By monitoring his online presence during the first six months of 2014, Janus Høm has quantified his sleep cycles, exercise, irritation level, productivity – every aspect of his self. His purchases, work hours, binge viewing and ad history, every action has an internal reaction.

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