Friday, June 4, 2010

Oil Spill and doodling

A quote on the inside of my Honest Tea bottle: "In a moment the ashes are made, but the forest is a long time growing." -Seneca

I'm assuming the "Seneca" is a tribe.

I disagree with them. I do not think fire, nor ash is instantly made. In our scientific exploration, we have learned the chemical process. The ability to create fire at will was one of the greatest accomplishments of humans. (And every later like-discovery the next great accomplishment). Even before the existence of humans, fire has existed and operated under the same laws as it does now, and its commitment to its laws is what allows us to understand it. It is not a mysterious phenomenon; it is a recreate-able progression of cause and effect...we can manipulate fire, make fire, stop fire, prevent fire. We understand circumstances that are prone to combustion, we understand differences between types of fires. We understand that to make fire is a process and a result of certain necessary circumstances. Some preventable, some not. We recognize its power of destruction as well as its potential for benefit. But we have not yet realized that we do not have the authority to tell it which to be.

Why then, since none of this ever changes, do we keep creating the necessary circumstances for fires, unnecessarily, thinking we will be able to control them? Because we created them? That way of thinking has always, and will always be flawed. Natural processes, though we've wrapped our heads around them, do not necessarily yield to our desires, if our desires do not follow in the vein of nature. To be this greedy is unnatural. And no board of directors, no policy makers, no round table or stadium seated group of arguing bureaucrats are going to be able to "cap" our sense of "control" over the natural world, nor can they cap the natural world's fidelity to its own laws. And so the natural world will keep spewing out its destructive power (which we sought after for its potential benefit...profit) without regard to borders, man-made hierarchies, resolutions, politics, or its effect on our species more than any other, even if we let it loose with optimistic (or arrogant) intentions toward bettering our situation.

What I'm saying is that maybe some things should be left as phenomenon. Should be left as mysterious. We can never have a total control over the natural world, because we did not create it. It is not ours. We need to stop thinking of it as ours. Nature cannot and will never understand, empathize, or support bottomless greed.

The Gulf situation makes me nauseous.

This is an "art blog" and so I was going to try and keep it from being a sociology/philosophy/psychology/policy and so on blog. But it is impossible to separate any of those topics. Art should be and is all and any of those things, in any kind of combination and expression it can be.

1 comment:

  1. Jessie dear, if you separate the "sociology/philosophy/psychology/policy" (or however you want to look at it) from the physical pieces all you get are a bunch of pretty pictures. I think it's important to at least elaborate a little on the context surrounding the image. It shares the artist's point of view and allows for the observer to contemplate how they look at the image, what their point of view is on the topic, whether or not they agree with the artist's point of view, and so on and so forth. Essentially it adds a little something to the relationship between artist, observer and piece of art.

    I also find the gulf coast situation to be absolutely heartbreaking.