Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Visualizing the Anthropocene

Given how how brains and senses evolved, we find some types of visualization difficult. That difficulty is both spatial and temporal. Many scientists tells use we are in a in a epoch, the Anthropocene, (epoch of man). Chances are that if time allows, the  International Commission on Stratigraphy and the International Union of Geological Sciences will eventually make it official. The current rapid climate change, river diversions, mountain top removal mining, The Great Pacific Gyre Garbage Patch, etc., we do not have a shortage of examples of our impact.
Yet, the ability to really see this is not a common skill. We are all each born into one spot in spacetime, and that point is our "normal",  our moving point of reference along our world line.

I think one of the best ways to explore the minutiae of the epoch, and then be able to form a pattern-understanding is through the work of artist/photographer Edward Burtynsky.He has spent the last 35 years documenting the new epoch.

His TED Talks page
Trailer for Watermark

The Landscape that We Change, an illustrated lecture by Burtynsky at McMichael Canadian Art Collection, (2013)

Vital Liquids: Oil & Water, illustrated lecture at the 2013 PEI Conference.

An art criticism lecture  by Clint Burnham, The Sublime Object, (2012)

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