Spider webs are underrated

Awagami Factory, Yoshinogawa, Japan (2.5 months)

“The land shall be criss-crossed by a giant spider’s web.”

— Hopi Prophesy

For those who follow my work, a common motif is the spiderweb. Some people are horrified and disgusted by webs given their unpopular inhabitants, but I find them captivating. There is no end to the poetic wonder that exists within these networked forms and the spiders, too. These webs are a birthplace, house, lifeline, substance and material of the spider. Each strand an intellectual and efficient gesture conjured up from evolution.

The web reveals time passing given its changing structure. Most webs are built and reworked over and over for reuse, adapting to environmental changes and fixed for continued use. Like a house always under repair, I’m fascinated by the “new additions” to the design. New webbing fills gaps, creating fractal formations and deepening intricacy. The web is a footprint of the spider, tracing its cyclical motions and sometimes sporadic behavior. Every thread is a direct reference to the path of the spider.

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I love webs because of their connection to nature, but also how they relate to human systems and behaviors. How so? Webs serve a particular function that us humans like to replicate: a web extends one’s reach. This can be in terms of catching prey, organizing city centers, or building one’s social network. This radial network is intended to expand the capabilities of a single individual, to have greater reach and higher rates of contact.

Linkages between each spider thread mimics connectivity in social networks, organizational structures, city planning, the Internet, neural connections, and the web of life. The web structure also appears in conceptual models like the fabric of spacetime and gravity and our vast cosmic web! The web is within us and around us. We use it as a tool for collecting things and a design to replicate for modern development. To think, maybe a spider influenced human’s understanding of connection and harmony on Earth, creating our notion of interconnectivity in the vast the Universe.