Philosophy. Ethics. Aesthetics. Utility. Instruction. Each of the preceding words applies to Marjetica Potrc’s building and water reclamation projects. They coalesce in her drawings. A sample of these instructive and appealing works of art follows. They address such compelling topics as the dissolution of political borders, the collapse of modernism, the delusion of stability, and a borderless society.
A compelling argument advocating the dissolution of boundaries separating art and science was expressed by Oron Catts in an interview with Piibe Piirma. Catts insists that artists should not merely provide clever visualisations of scientific data and theories.
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John Roloff demonstrated an increasingly popular approach to environmental woes when he constructed Seventh Climate (Paradise Reconsidered) in 2006. The project was located under design for I-5 Open Space freeway site in Seattle, WA. Three freeways passed overhead. The artwork occupied 7.5 acres. This zone has been blocked from all the elements that comprise the patterns of weather and diurnal rhythms since the 1960s when the freeway was constructed. Roloff recreated these conditions by reintroducing the specific amounts of rain, light, shadow and topographic properties existing at that time. Roloff is repeating a long art tradition by ‘re-creating’ what actually existed in the physical world. This representational work of art simulates the external Seattle climate. Everything is artificial: rain, sun and even moonlight.
Art and commerce officially coalesce with the expansion of Jae Rhim’s Lee commitment to acknowledging the environmental impact we have when we are dead, as well as when we are living. The company’s name is COEIO. It even has a nifty logo.
This is Mike Ma, Founder & CEO
This is Jae Rhim Lee, Founder & Chief Product Officer
Together they formed a company “to help fulfill people’s last wishes to be as unique as their lives.”
Frans Kracjberg is alive and actively expanding his lifelong efforts to serve as the forests’ steward and protector. This is my first blog dedicated to this distinguished veteran of eco art. He is not often in the news. Thus, I was delighted to discover the following mention in Artsy:
“Nine Artists Respond to Climate Change” by Julie Baumgardner
in the Artsy Editorial.
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In anticipation of my first foray into wilderness last year, I wondered if I would yield to the ‘wild’ of these unfamiliar environs – leaping instead of climbing, crawling instead of walking, screaming instead of talking – joyful escapes from the constraints of social protocols and engineered technologies. Or perhaps, I imagined, I might feel inclined to skulk through the wilderness on tip toe, whispering quietly or refusing to speak to minimize my intrusion into a territory where neither humanity’s greed, abuse, nor its generosity are welcome. Alternatively, I considered the possibility of joining generations of prophets who ventured into wilderness to seek the glory of god. On their behalf I conjured descriptions of wilderness from literature that evoked mysterious light, eternal renewal, and fearsome powers, imagining that this excursion might provide my closest encounter with the divine.
I was reminded of this trip this week when I read a headline in the Wall Street Journal, “Nature Runs Wild in Greenwich Village,” describing the postage-sized ‘wilderness’ in Manhattan created, with great care and dedication, by Alan Sonfist. My journey had led me into the vast, unsettled territory surrounding Questa, New Mexico. It was preserved, fifty years ago, by the Wilderness Act, a landmark bill that created the first legal definition of “wilderness” and established the National Wilderness Preservation System that now protects over 100 million acres of land. Sonfist’s artwork is praised in the article for including one ‘stowaway elm’ that is 40 feet tall. It is not wilderness. Instead, it is an artistic representation of wilderness, bearing the same relationship to the grandeur and expanse of authentic wilderness as a 24″ landscape painting might.
By fostering the decomposition of her future corpse, Jae Rhim Lee makes certain she will make a beneficial material contribution to ‘earth’ (soil) that supports life on ‘Earth’ (planet). The prodigious transformation of inert substances into living matter occurs within the narrow zone where the bottom layer of sky and the top layer of our planet intersect. It is precisely the zone where burial is located.
These contrasting districts opeate on complementary but opposing power sources. The energy that drives the above ground food web issues from the sun, while the energy that propels the soil food web emits from decaying organic matter. Thus photosynthesis and detritus are functionally related. When these energy sources are synchronized, the bacteria and fungi underground conduct the heavy work of nourishing above ground populations of all kinds. This miraculous assemblage ultimately accounts for every living entity that ever existed on our special planet.
Switching metaphors from Mother Nature to Lover Nature indicates a radical shift from relating to nature as a provider, healer, and comforter, to relating to nature as recipient of protection, augmentation, and attention. This supremely special lover thrives on adult mutuality, as opposed to infantile dependence and lack of responsibility.
According to biologist E. O. Wilson, humans are entering an “Age of Loneliness” because we are not only losing the companionship of non-human species, we are converting opportunities for love into acts of warfare.
Wilson notes, “Step into places of diversity, complexity and abundance and you find yourself going straight into the heart of eros. You encounter love, and from love one is moved to care, and from care to action, and from action to imagining a world without all this violence.”
Monsanto GMOs Defeated by Oregon Organic Farmers as Federal Judge Upholds Seed Ban. June 1st, 2015
Beyond congratulating the organic farmers in Oregon for this triumphant victory, this headline may be a game-changer for the GMO industry as a whole. As Steven Rosenfeld reports on AlterNet:
A coalition of Oregon organic farmers has beaten Monsanto—the corporate agriculture giant—in a landmark federal lawsuit that will make national waves by the way that their rural county banned the use of genetically modified seeds.
The legal challenge brought by commercial farmers who use Monsanto’s genetically modified alfalfa seeds was challenged by the non-organic farmers.Technically, the $350,000 fine is not a lot of money for a major corporate entity. In the fall of 2014, Montano posted total sales of $15.86 billion. At the same time Monsanto reported that the company lost $156 million in that quarter, presumably, one reason is that it spent a significant amount of money to defend the use of GMOs and destroy efforts to require labelling of GMO products.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1942875/monsanto-loses-will-pay-350k-to-settle-more-gm-wheat-lawsuits/#34c7vD8J7rE0fdHC.99
The drama that is currentlyunfolding is being played upon a planet-wide stage that reaches far into the atmosphere and into the depths of the seas. It engages the mighty forces of raging winds and torrential rains, shattering earthquakes and collapsing towers of ice, flushes of invasive populations and witherings of beloved species. Consensus holds that the future will not resemble the past. But it is not known if we are heading toward a worldwide ecosystem adjustment or an epic terminous!
The works of art being created by contemporary eco artists present compelling samplings of material conditions and options. This is an emotional narrative, as fraught with dread and uncertainty as it is invested with optimism and humor. However diverse the outcomes they are imagining, none anticipate a return of the Medieval belief that Paradise on Earth that they envisioned as a congenial climate, abundant vegetation, and perpetual daylight seven times brighter than a sunny day.
At the same time, eco artists hope to avoid updating the mythic tales that describe disasters wrought by angered deities to punish humans for their wanton ways. The international precedents for this tragic scenario include:
Greek: Zeus sent a flood to destroy humans.
Lithuania: the supreme god Pramzimas saw nothing but war and injustice among mankind so he sent the giants of water and wind to destroy earth.
Egypt: people had become rebellious so Atum destroyed all he made and returned the earth to the Primordial Water.