Imagery In The Cascade: If That, Then This...
Our expanding knowledge of ecologies is still relatively in its infancy. The introduction of systems and information theories, stemming from knowledge of biological processes, has drastically changed the way we look at the world, resources, and each other. My work incorporates the complex and sometimes unpredictable relations of organisms within given environments and the causal effects inherent within these structures.
Current scientific enquiries have resulted in the as yet ungratified, but generally adopted, title for a new ecological era: the Anthropocene. Key to its formulation is the idea that human impact on the earth is at a level that we have caused major geological alterations in the earth’s crust and atmosphere resulting in dramatic levels of extinction; we are now the chief agents of change. Environments comprised of indigenous flora such as Totara Park alluvial flats are now the exception.
Over the last century, industrialization, globalization and the creation of the free market economy has been the base for dramatic changes in ecologies. A prime example of the effects of this radical change in ideologies is in the case of Kaingaroa forest village.
A once burgeoning town, the Kaingaroa village was established to service the Crown-owned forest. Built to be the largest exotic forest in the world, it still exists as one of the largest monocultures. Under the Rogernomics regime the New Zealand financial system was radically altered. Crown assets, including the Kaingaroa forest, were privatized with the intention that this would create a more efficient, and therefore profitable economy. Between a lengthy Treaty of Waitangi claim, cheap labour, geographical isolation and job losses, townships in the Kaingaroa region ended up in severe poverty, and the low rent has attracted rival gangs resulting in bitter feuds.
In ecosystem shifts that lead to the destruction of landscape and cultural disruption, violence is inherent. Lumumba Di-Aping, lead negotiator of the G77, accused the G20 of ‘colonizing the sky’ and condemning millions in Africa to certain death and climate genocide. As humans we are all implicated in the process.
By its nature this project has become part of the cascade of interconnected relationships. The materials and processes involved in art production create a feedback loop into both primary industry and structures of the art world.
The complexity involved with representing ecologies and systems visually, cannot be confined to a single frame.