Tag Archives: sixth extinction

Agency of the Nonhuman

Staying within the pages of the Los Angeles Review of Books, and within the theme of how art responds to the Sixth Extinction, consider the following thoughts from novelist Amitav Ghosh. Images are from the studio of Nathalie Miebach, with a project titled The Floods.

 

BUILD ME A PLATFORM, HIGH IN THE TREES, SO I MAY SEE THE WATERS

 

 

DETAIL, BUILD ME A PLATFORM

 

 

DETAIL, BUILD ME A PLATFORM

 

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Nathalie Miebach writes:

My work focuses on the intersection of art and science and the visual articulation of scientific observations.  Using the methodologies and processes of both disciplines, I translate scientific data related to astronomy, ecology and meteorology woven sculptures. My method of translation is principally that of weaving – in particular basket weaving – as it provides me with a simple yet highly effective grid through which to interpret data in three-dimensional space. 

By staying true to the numbers, these woven pieces tread an uneasy divide between functioning both as sculptures in space as well as instruments that could be used in the actual environment from which the data originates.

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Carbon Ideologies

Now comes the remarkable writer William T. Vollman with an excerpt from No Immediate Danger, the first volume in a series that will explore the many delusional stories we conjure to justify our unwillingness to change behavior — except in the most trivial ways — while in the midst of the anthropogenic sixth extinction. His title refers to the narrative superimposed by Japanese government and corporate reality spinners in the aftermath of Fukishima.

Images are from the studio of artist and ocean advocate Courtney Mattison.

 

OIL DRUM

OIL CAN

GASOLINE: DANGER

GAS CAN

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Sometimes Lies Are Prettier

A few weeks ago, a report by the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute in Athens was released, with the conclusion that most of the endangered sperm whales that have been found dead in the eastern Mediterranean since 2001 have experienced slow and painful deaths as a result of their stomachs becoming clotted by indigestible globs of plastic, often in the shape of bags.

Yesterday, the Guardian reported that a pilot whale died in southern Thailand after ingesting eighty plastic bags. A marine biologist who assisted in the autopsy commented: “If you have 80 plastic bags in your stomach, you die.” The sentence would also be true with the pronoun “we”.

Now comes Timothy Morton, with a few paragraphs from his Being Ecological. Images are from Tavares Strachan, whose work is included in an exhibition at Storm King, and from whom we also borrow our title.

 

 

WHO DESERVES AQUAMARINE, BLACK AND GOLD (FLAG)

 

 

STANDING ALONE

 

 

 

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Longtime DP readers are familiar with the name Gunther Anders, and his concept of inverted utopia, where we are able to imagine endless technologies that, in the end, suggest a world without us. We offer our slight amendment: the world will be without an abundance of other sentient creatures as well, those that we will have erased along the path of ecocidal utopian inversion.


Where Life Begins

As an increasingly extreme administration attempts to sneak a toxic “revenue” provision that would open the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to drilling for fossil fuels into an equally toxic tax bill, we relay the voice of Qwich’in Nation leader Bernadette Demientieff:

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Second, an open letter organized by Subhankar Banerjee, Lannan Chair and Professor of Art and Ecology, University of New Mexico:

CARIBOU MIGRATING IN THE MIDST OF THE SIXTH EXTINCTION

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Those Two Abysses

Today, while reading various researches into negative feedback loops that would appear to imply an acceleration of the Sixth Extinction, we offer the following passages from the thoughts of Blaise Pascal, excerpted from the section on the misery of man without God. The images are various Rothko black-on-maroons.

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bp1

Black on Maroon 1958 Mark Rothko 1903-1970 Presented by the artist through the American Federation of Arts 1969 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T01170

bp2

Black on Maroon 1958 by Mark Rothko 1903-1970

bp3

Black on Maroon 1958 by Mark Rothko 1903-1970

bp4