Issue № 1
December 2013

About Zarozli and Ripples Occurrences Catastrophe Atlas

Main Question

In his famous "Forest Jojurnal" soviet writer Vitaly Bianki was succesful in catching the precise essence of nature. He described its phenological cycles and human concerns in connection with these cycles (hunting, for example). He narrated about kolkhoz labors and animals living in cities. He gave to kids tasks on nature-knowing, which precede planting orchards and fighting pests.

Bianki illuminated nature through its meanings - aesthetic, moral, routine, agricultural, political. Moment of coming into being, which he has described, was a transition beetwen Turgenev "The Hunting Sketches" and "Essays on agro-ecological review on major grain-crops".

In Bianki "Forest Journal" nature appears as fantastical vortex of creatures - from the whale to the minute ear - which rushes to fathomless, grasping mouths of humans, predators, death.

Incessantly devouring itself biomass, which promises to its offspring nothing but nonsensical extinction - that is nature described by Bianki. And ascertained by him historical milestone is the full-scale, planetary involvement of tech-human powers into this feast of self-absorption and intensify it many times over.

After a time nature call afresh for description and elucidation. New "Forest Journal" will try to answer the simple and important question.

What nature is?

Notes on Methodology

Can we understand nature? Hardly ever. The realm of phenomena with no inherent meaning cannot be understood. Here lies the horizon of our human attitudes.

Can we explore nature? There's a hope for a few gleams.

So what ways of exploring will be used in Forest Journal?

Nature can be learned by becoming its meaningless part. Hermitry and live in wild, body to body, self-abandonment. This way is good, but not for those who seeks for the knowledge that can be told. Illusions of spiritual findings can be dangerous too. Art gives a chance to avoid both risks.

Nature can be learned by using language which doesn't use meanings and is in consonance with reality we are seeking for. That is to say mathematics. But before resorting to mathematics, it needs to be investigated by the same question as nature. Those who turns to mathematics is taking chances to double own ignorance. Derivative methods, for example: Pattern theory, Chaos theory and so on promise us high usefulness and charming insights. So we can use these instruments, but with a lot of caution: suspicious ability to explain everything in the world will close any question just after asking it.

There's no clear dangers in using less ambitious methods: reflection, collecting and analyzing specimens, sketching, noting, imagining, rambling source reading. They can be used as often as we want.

On Zarosli

Example of spot being spreaded-and-overgrown.

Observations tell the following. Those spots which nature has discovered it covers tending to uniformity and not to multiformity, as it is generally accepted. I will try to show how it happens and what results leads to.

Nature's very desire to spread over spots is so obvious that needs no explanation. It is nature's backbone habit, major way of being. Wherever the spot is revealed - crack in the stone, spacious valley, roof of an old house - there always will be nature.

Whereas in the beginning this presence of nature is varied, the time passes and it becomes more and more uniform.

This process is spreading-and-growing. As a matter of fact, there are no need in any additional impulses to make it happens. If there is the spot without and no obstacles encountered - it will be spreaded-and-overgrown.

ZAROSLI is the result of spreading-and-growing. Zarosli means is a spot uniformly filled with nature.

Two primary features of zarosli must be stated: the presence of border and the absence of inner structure (i.e. homogeneity). The border of zarosli totally coincides with the border of spot.

Nature pours zarosli into the spot as we pour water into the jug. This water has border, though there's no shell or membrane - any «organon of border». Zarosli is the same.

Zarosli and its primary features: above - border; inner homogeneity below.

There are attributes which distinguish one zarosli from another.

Let’s compare these two of zarosli. The first has blue hue, the second one is clearly white.

The left zarosli has knotty plicate texture, the right zarosli is velvety, almost smooth.

Zarosli on the left is dense, and on the right – friable, although their both texture is analogous.

Depending on spot properties zarosli may be rooted (left) or migrating (right).

The size of zarosli is not too important. But, for certain, greater joy and inspiration are caused by vast, boundless zarosli.

And if we remember that spreading-and-growing is the main yearning of nature than we can imagine as a purpose of its movement the following: all spots filled with nature will combine and become one single zarosli.

The Ripple

Perfect zarosli start to ripple.


In one of Voronezh warehouses a Far-eastern terrapin was cached.
The tumble-weed on faded grass between railroad and tree’s line.
The small piebald dog is standing in grey leafless shrubs.
There is a red brick column in the middle of naked undergrowth at sand ravine edge.
The sparrow is loping under the train, among chip stone, between metal of rails and metal of wheelset.

The response to question “What Nature Is?” by artistAlex Buldakov

Nature is a catastrophe. Individual human consciousness tends to perceive nature as series of disasters, but, however, it’s the only disaster, total and eternal. This catastrophe cannot be described or predicted, but it can be observed and partaken.

René Thom’s illustration from his “Structural Stability and Morphogenesis”.

I always liked mistakes. Such a small catastrophes, which may lead to big ones. Mistakes, which comes when you are trying to describe complicated forms and careless mistakes, mistakes of Galileo and Kepler, digital glitch. Effect, casted on us by discrepancy of using incorrect estimations is the one I call cognition. First comes sensorial feeling of world wholeness illusion being crashed, then rational elimination of mistake’s consequence – these are the parts of experience. Mistake is a crack in asphalt cover which fills sensory experience, qualia. Going through mistake we understand nature better. For example, doing mathematical mistakes we better understand the nature of numbers. Or, wider, mistake in language leads to understanding the nature of communication.


The liquidity of water-colour makes control of form a difficult task. An attempt to draw pigeon feathering turned catastrophe.

Home task

Go to the shop in which aquarium fish being sold. Buy some, just a little, of “Riccia”: this is a popular among fishkeepers floating moss.

At home pour some water into any broad vessel and put Riccia in here. Place it into alight location (under the desk lamp for example).

Observe how spreading-and-growing is arising. When Riccia becomes numerous move it to vessel of another form. Look how zarosli fills new spot. Describe your observations and report them to the Forest Journal!

Dear readers!

Tell about Forest Journal to friends of yours!

Send your letters with questions and stories. The most interesting will be published in journal.

FJ mailbox is

Supplement #1: Zarosli atlas

“All the Plantae Kingdom will appear again in front of us as immense ocean”


Idea, design, content of Forest Journal (if another author is not mentioned) – Ilya Dolgov. For more details about Forest Journal see front page.

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