During these fading days of summer, we offer the following powerful passages from an essay by Lyla June Johnson, an Indigenous public speaker, artist, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages from Taos, New Mexico. Her songs, poem and essays focus on Indigenous rights, supporting youth, traditional land stewardship practices and healing inter-generational and inter-cultural trauma. Images added by DP.
This week, we serve to relay and amplify excerpts and images from the manifesto of an intermedia art movement identifying as Extraction, being a collective global exclamation: ENOUGH!
“Everyone can be both creator and catalyst. At a time of growing despair and paralysis, people from all backgrounds and levels of experience—from the amateur to the virtuoso—can take action. We invite everyone to join us in creating an international art ruckus.”
Now comes Jennifer Lucy Allan with an excerpt from her recently published book, Foghorn’s Lament, brought to our attention by a DP correspondent.
The images are self-explanatory, the second linking to a video documenting the “true aural obliteration” of the horn. Given the apparent impenetrability of our cognitive, emotional & spiritual fog in the midst of the Sixth Extinction, we offer this as an emblematic sound for our times.
Now comes Mark Bittman, author of the recently publishedAnimal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal.
Interview excerpts below, with images mirrored from the website of artist Pamela Michelle Johnson.
About her work, artist Pamela Michelle Johnson writes:
Teetering towers of hamburgers, drippy stacks of syrupy waffles, sticky piles of sugary candy… Junk food. It’s the taste of America. It is what we eat. It is who we are. The insatiable American appetite is set on a path of consumption. Devouring to the point where we are left with nothing, nothing but the consequential garbage. Quintessentially American, junk food is not just part of our diet, it epitomizes our cultural ideals and social norms. Through my work, I strive to invoke reflection on a culture focused on mass-consumption and mass-production, where the negative aspects of overindulgence are often forgotten or ignored. The work questions a culture that equates fulfillment, pleasure and happiness with what we consume.
Whether it is gluttonous quantities of larger than life junk food or the solitary empty wrapper, abandoned soon after devouring was complete, the images are charged with social relevance. The work flaunts our culture back at us. It questions embracing a culture of complete and instant gratification while ignoring the consequences of our indulgences. The work questions many of our cultural ideals and social norms. These are the pictures of our insatiable appetites; they are the pictures of the consequences. The heightened realism of these paintings serves to remind viewers that this is a mirror to our culture.
This week, as we read about plans to expand the deep sea mining of minerals required for electric cars and other “green” consumables such that we might continue living in our human supremacist bubble, we urge consideration of a few prescient remarks from Srećko Horvat, a Croatian philosopher and the author of the recently published book, After the Apocalypse.
Images are relayed from the Lego website, marketing their new playtime scenario, Apocalypseburg.
While researching the poetics of radiophonic space, we came across an essay by the always stimulating Susan Griffin, first published in the Whole Earth Review in 1996, though it may as well have been written this morning.
The entire essay is worth consideration; excerpts below, with public domain images added by DP.
Now comes Soul Fire Farm co-director and farm manager Leah Penniman, with two excerpts from a recent essay in prayer and praise for the gift of ecological humility vividly present within Black ecological thought, free from the death spiral of extractive white supremacism.
About her interdisciplinary practice, Harrower writes:
As an ecologist and multimedia artist, I specialize in species interactions under climate change. I am greatly interested in the processes by which those interactions break down and their resulting environmental consequences, currently witnessed as massive species extinctions, forced migrations and the mistiming of biological events. Approaching these topics as an interdisciplinary researcher, I engage diverse communities on local and global issues to understand how ecological research that is connected to an arts practice can impact social change. […] The resultant symbolic representations and interdisciplinary narratives provide unexpected ways to engage with species and environments, encouraging a radical reimagining of our relationships as living beings on this planet.
This week, we simply relay the following deep message from adrienne maree brown: poet, writer, pleasure activist, doula, wedding singer (!) and, to our ears, an essential and transformative voice beckoning us towards a viable future, if we are brave enough to live beyond the wounds and wounding: “the healing path is humility, laughter, truth, awareness and choice.”
And a few lines later: “we are our only possible medicine.” Best read out loud, and then read out loud again!
Amidst the cacophony of a malignant regime finally exposing its white supremacist core, we bend an ear to professor Manisha Sinha, historian of slavery, abolition, Civil War and Reconstruction and the author of The Slave’s Cause and The Counterrevolution of Slavery.
Excerpts from a recent interview below; caption to the image added by DP.
THE DAY MAGALAND DISPLAYED ITS TRUE COLORS
During the largely peaceful BLM protests, Trump declared that anyone damaging federal property would be charged with felony riot and face the possibility of ten years in prison.
Let us see what punishment shall be deemed appropriate for the racist & deluded berserkers who ransacked the capitol, and for those who incited and praised them as “patriots”. Of all the lies spewed forth from the twisted MAGA delusion machine, surely that is the most repugnant – yet.
We close with the glorious voices of the Resistance Chorus, with luminous Rhiannon Giddens in the mix:
Among the many vulnerabilities exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, surely the catastrophe created by the neoliberal commodification of elder care must rank among the most acute, with devastating losses suffered within nursing homes, including both residents and caregivers.
Now comes Lynn Casteel Harper, presently Minister of Older Adults at The Riverside Church in the City of New York and author of On Vanishing: Mortality, Dementia and What It Means to Disappear. Released during the early days of the pandemic as it spread throughout the United States, the book offers a luminous exploration into the gradually descending darkness of dementia, advocating for alternative elder care practices that support those afflicted to “vanish well”.