Now comes artist Maya Lin with an NYC Madison Square installation created from forty-nine white cedar trees transplanted from the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The project raises numerous questions, both exposing and embracing an ethos of human dominion over nature.
Image and text relayed from the project’s website, followed by a link to a documentary video.
On the day after Earth Day, we relay the voice of Melanie Yazzie, Diné co-founder of The Red Nation, a grassroots Indigenous liberation organization, and assistant professor of Native American studies and American studies at University of New Mexico. Excerpts from yesterday’s Democracy Now interview below, with images of a Raven Portrait Mask by Janice Morin, mirrored from the Raven Makes Gallery.
Now comes animal rights activist and writer Laura Bridgeton with a cogent summary critique of ever-expanding factory farms, on land and sea. Her entire report is worth close consideration. Excerpts below, with images from the fecund imagination of “outsider” artist, James Castle.
Now comes the well-named environmental philosopher Melanie Challenger with an important new exploration of how human supremacism came to be the entrenched self-identity for “civilized” mammals within the less well-named species, Homo Sapiens.
This week we bend our ears towards the Galician artist Isaac Cordal in conversation with LARB’s Brad Evans, convener of an exceptional ongoing series probing the subject of violence, in all its modulations.
Two excerpts below, with images from Cordal’s installation People of Trees, dating from the early days of the pandemic, relayed from his website.
Let’s all repeat that last sentence together:
Creation and the solidarity it fosters may just be the only thing that save us.
As Swan convincingly documents, the toxicity of “modern” life has not only saturated the world’s oceans and most distant deserts, but has also brought polluting “externalities” into our own bodies, bringing fresh dimension to Günther Anders maxim :a world without us.
An excerpt below, as released by the publisher. Images are from the remarkable “Red Body” series by Valentina De’ Mathà, as relayed from her website.
Yet we are sure to cook up some clever “disruptive” tech to resolve this issue through cryonics, nano-robotic sperm, embryonics or some other hubristic device that will permit us to survive as lab-grown meat without changing a single twitch of our collective behavior. As for other species, well, they might remain available for our entertainment and nostalgia-binges via VR and possibly even in hermetically sealed zoos and aquaria.
Now comes the voice of this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Louise Glück, whose quiet excellence we have long admired, and whose aversion to the “collective” tribunal in favor of precarious, accidental intimacy we most certainly share, hence our longstanding rejection of social media. Excerpts from her brief Nobel Lecture below, with the Emily D. poem, strangely (though unsurprisingly) misrepresented on the Nobel website.
Not unlike how we welcome those who find their way to DP.
Now comes novelist Hari Kunzru, author of White Tears, Red Pill and Transmission, with a few illuminating thoughts regarding the social psychology of Q. The entire “Easy Chair” essay, titled Complexity, can be found in the January 2021 issue of Harper’s.
Excerpts below, with images from the artist Mike Jackson’s Birdsong series of Luminograms, relayed from the website of the Foley Gallery in NYC, where they were recently on view.
We note that Kunzru also hosts a podcast titled Into the Zone. We jackknifed briefly into Dead Or Alive, the blurb for which states:
Life’s final border might not be so final after all. From tardigrades to viruses, some things are both dead and alive. Or neither. How do we draw the line between the living and the dead? And how does that line blur in places like in a time capsule buried in ice, or a library on the moon?
Fear not, dear DP reader: we guarantee you that there will never be a DP podcast. That ship sailed over a thousand years ago!
We are forest walkers here at DP; ramblings through local woodlands have offered deep sustenance during Covidzeit. Now comes poet & essayist J. Drew Lanham recounting varied Conversations with Trees, first published in the reliably invigorating digital pages of Wildness. A brief excerpt below, with images from Sally Mann’s Southern Landscapes series, as relayed from her website.
In closing, we bend an ear to a speculative interview dating from the 1990s with a famous yet unnamed tree-whisperer, via Radical Language of Trees: