Our Clumsy Signatures

The exceptional (thereby unheeded) chronicler of climate emergency Dahr Jamail, by way of a positive NYT review, brought Nathaniel Rich’s recently published Second Nature to our attention.

An excerpt below, with images by Ana Mendieta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let us offer Diane Ackerman, writing in The Human Age, the closing words:

 

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Wishful Images

Now comes Christof Mauch, director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, with excerpts from an essay that sketches the outline of his 2019 booklet, Slow Hope: Rethinking Ecologies of Crisis and Fear.

Images are from a related exhibition by artist Mandy Martin.

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From Rage to Ruckus

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.” 


In That Last Gasp

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.

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All Light, Everywhere

Now comes documentary filmmaker Theo Antony via an interview regarding his most recent film, wherein he explores the micropolitics of police body cameras among other power dynamics within the dominant surveillance ethos, as well as the inherently slippery nature of all documentary evidence.

Excerpts from the interview below, with the second image linking to the “official” (whatever that means) trailer.

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Less Is More

We are grateful to a vigilant DP reader for bringing a recently published book to our attention: Less Is More, by economic anthropologist Jason Hickel.

Excerpts from a recent interview about the book below, interwoven with images from a Guggenheim Bilbao exhibition titled The Body that Carries Me, from the abundant imagination of Ernesto Neto.

From the Guggenheim Bilbao page about Neto’s exhibition:

The artist began working with crochet in 1994 in order to create seamless fabrics and has hand-crocheted circular cells—filled with plastic balls—since then. Neto prefers materials and techniques traditionally linked to women. The artist explains “I love the idea of continuity between man and woman, both in the moral sense and the psychotopological sense. Female and male are just negative and positive. It’s like a sculpture cast—you have the model and the cast. I’m pretty interested in this ambiguity.”

According to Neto, he has wanted to move through the space, hover above the floor or trace a line to climb and float in the air for many years. Life is a Body We are Part of−A vida é um corpo do qual fazemos parte, through which Neto aims to give visitors a slight sense of vertigo, encourages us to think about balance, something which we sometimes take for granted, and to reconsider “the way we move, desire, and fear.”


The Pulse of Animacy

We a grateful to a DP correspondent for reminding us of an essay by scientist, writer and citizen of the Potawatomi Nation Robin Kimmerer. First published by Orion in 2017, the essay becomes ever more relevant with each passing day. Excerpts below, interwoven with images of braided sweetgrass relayed from Whispering Wind.

 

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Ghost Forest

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.

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Exterminate All the Brutes

Now comes film director Raoul Peck, creator of the miniseries titled after Sven Lindqvist’s remarkable yet fast forgotten masterpiece, published in 2007.

Excerpts from a recent interview below, with links to both the series trailer and a powerful statement of intent.

TRAILER
STATEMENT OF INTENT

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We Are What We Eat

Now comes Mark Bittman, author of the recently published Animal, 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.

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