This week, we listen once again to strong, uncompromising truth-speaking from Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee and a relentless advocate for her home ground.
In September 2021, Bernadette won the Sierra Club’s Changemaker Award. They wrote, “The Gwich’in Steering Committee is largely responsible for convincing every major US Bank to pledge not to fund projects that drill for oil and gas in the Arctic Refuge, making this a day-one issue for President Biden.”
Yet challenges in the region remain acute, as the climate crisis deepens and accelerates. Excerpts from a recent dialogue below, with images added by DP.
Now comes The Emergence Network (TEN), asking a question that has been rattling through the editorial corridors of DP for many years: What if the way we respond to the crisis is part of the crisis? TEN proposes a research inquiry into the otherwise.
Excerpts from their manifesto, together with an emblematic image, as relayed from their website:
To subscribe to TEN’s informative and provocative newsletter, click below:
With political violence, and threats of political violence, vividly present all over the map, we have been revisiting the magnificent work of Doris Salcedo, facilitated by the Salcedo “mini-site” at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, from which we relay the below excerpted text and images:
I devoted myself to making art out of political violence, knowing that it is impossible. I think violent death is obscene, so it is outside representation; it escapes symbolisation altogether. I know what I do is in vain.
Yet in facing the impossible, and by bringing the spirits of the unmourned dead into the very heart of her work, Salcedo invites us to consider the abject futility of the ever-expanding woundscape of political violence, as the empty chairs pile up into the heavens.
Images are relayed from the website of artist Peter Hill, “a visual artist, a musician, a builder, a permaculture gardener, father of five fantastic children and captain of the local bush fire brigade.”
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.