I’m currently working on the conclusion to the first volume of the “Humanist Anthropocene” trilogy, getting inspiration from several places.
Chinese artist Liu Bolin’s “Hiding in the City No. 95 – Coal Pile” (viewable here) is particularly close to my thoughts: the piece shows Bolin covered in (what I assume to be) coal dust stood in front of, and somewhat indistinguishable from, the pile of coal behind him. Although part of the huge and ongoing series that Bolin the title “The Invisible Man,” this particular image seems to stand also as a representation of our complete reliance on fossil fuels, on the way that things dug up from the Earth infiltrate all aspects of our life each day.
In a similar vein, I’ve been looking at the art of Svetlana Ostapovici, in particular this image of Rodin’s thinker in a trash heap (viewable here). I like the fact that we see something strange here, i.e. a juxtaposition of the sculpture and “trash”—but we might also force ourselves to read it differently, i.e. as bringing out the materiality of the sculpture, itself made of matter dug from the ground.
The question pertains to our increasing use of rare earth metals in various electronic items, which becomes a problem especially--as this article in the Guardian notes—in the context of the trend to replace perfectly working IT solutions with new ones, e.g. Apple withdraws support for discontinued products 7 years after they are discontinued.
We’ll see where the conclusion takes us
Project THE HUMANIST anthropocene
is a thought archive and workspace of Phillip John Usher (NYU) at the crossroads of early modern humanism and the problems and insights of the Anthropocene. Main Research Page.
ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment)
Environmental Humanities (journal)
Resilience (A Journal of the Environmental Humanities)
All text and images quoted from other sources used according to fair use. If I have used one of your images and you would like me to remove it, please email me.