The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
video, 35 min.
Darwin's theory of evolution is one of the fundaments of our notion of the past and present state of mankind. This theory states, that contemporary species and forms are descended from earlier forms, that themselves developed from even earlier forms. Forces at play in the evolution of species can be explained with three basic and closely linked principles - individual variation, the proliferation of species and individuals and the natural selection.
Natural selection is a complex of processes that generate the criteria of attractiveness of individuals, their preference, proliferation and survival. The senses of man and lower animals are so constituted that bright colors, certain forms and sounds are perceived as pleasurable and are called beautiful. Sexual selection thus enriches natural selection with aesthetic and subjective factors and personalizes it through the expression of will, desire or pleasure of the individuals.
Recent scientific research led to claims that blond hair evolved very quickly in a specific area at the end of the last ice age by means of sexual selection. The appearance of blond hair and blue eyes in some northern European women made them stand out from their rivals, and more sexually appealing to men, at a time of fierce competition for scarce males. The study argues that blond hair originated in the region because of food shortages 10,000-11,000 years ago. Until then, humans had the dark brown hair and dark eyes that still dominate in the rest of the world. Almost the only sustenance in northern Europe came from roaming herds of mammoths, reindeer, bison and horses. Finding them required long, arduous hunting trips in which numerous males died, leading to a high ratio of surviving women to men. The increase in competition for males led to rapid change as women struggled to evolve the most alluring qualities. Lighter hair colours, which started as rare mutations, became popular for breeding and numbers increased dramatically, according to the research.
The Descent of Man is a presents a group of blondes whispering and passing a secret among them. In fact, the video depicts sort of a "corporal translation" of one of the pillars of our contemporary Weltanaschauung, Darwin's text written in 1871. This book describes the descent of man from lower species, defines sexual selection, the differences between sexes, the superiority of man and physical, psychical, cultural or racial characteristics. According to the theory of evolution, language, culture, intelligence, mind, imagination and memory all conform to the cruel rules of natural selection, that gives meaning and value to variations. Biologically, blondes represent an individual variation that helped them to become preferred species.
The video, structured as linear text, depicts a process in which the theory explaining and forming the relations between humans falls apart through the process of individualization. The selective chains of information mirror the principle of the evolutionary theory and shows how the change is generated and functions in the relation to past and future.