Universal Expander is an ongoing series of paintings, drawings and sculptures, in which Björk explore the notion of universe’s expansion at different levels (micro and macro). The artist is interested in how various structures and things expand and collapse, and how this relates to human development and our concept of ourselves – how thoughts and matter shape and reshape.
Björk was recently commissioned to make a permanent work for public space in Jönköpings Kommun, Sweden. For this assignment, the artist made a series of aluminum sculptures of varying sizes and formations reminiscent of cross-sections of trees; where the positive cast of each section is accompanied by one negative cast of that same part – like a reflection. These casted sections are stacked on top of each other, and show imprints that clarify the unique identity of each tree: its structures in form of branches, twigs and bark.
The various sculptural elements act as conserved time-stamps, with traces and clues to the immediate vicinity where the actual trees first appeared. Together they form matrices of experience and knowledge, or artificial fossils whose codes have been reused to produce new futuristic creations. The work highlights nature’s ability to expand beyond what is initially visible. It is a way to explore the fact that universe is made up of complex interconnected systems, and how the different parts relate to and affect each other (an echoing system where patterns are constantly repeated).