What’s Next for Earth: Human Predicament Art Call

What’s Next forEarth’s is a Community Art Project to reflect on the Covid19 period and to re-invent the future. Normal was the problem.
@WhatsNextForEarth’s seventh project is “Human Predicament”.
September 2020.

The Human Predicament is What’s Next for Earth’s art call for September 2020. Understanding the human predicament is essential if we want to prepare for a resilient future. Unfortunately, what we find in the news is segmented, incomplete, biased, and greenwashing is pervasive. My comprehension of the human predicament became apparent when I read “How Everything can Collapse: A Manuel for Our Times” by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens (France, 2015).

Nate Hagens, Pr. at the University of Minnesota, created a course for his freshmen students about the human predicament. He made available to the public a condensed version of it. His systemic approach to the interaction between human behavior, environment, economy, and energy gives a clear picture that helps think differently about the future. The series of 4 short videos, “HUMAN PREDICAMENT SHORT COURSE” by Nate Hagens, is here. During September, artists we invited to contributes artwork and to post it on their Instagram feed. Contributions were then reposted on What’s Next for Earth Instagram page.

In September, California continued to experience an early and punishing fire season. On September 9, in some part of Califonia, an eerie bright orange sky due to the confluence of a heatwave, dryness, and smokey air surprised and scared people. It looked like the end of the world. The stress of the pandemic is multiplied in areas like California by the visible effects of climate change. As the election becomes closer, many of us are worried about our politics not taking drastic action to change the crash course we are on. 

The contributions are also published on the MAHB Arts Community Page.
Here are some of them: 

Yvette Head (California, US)
Today I worked on a special small painting, “Fire Follower”. I was inspired to answer the art call for @whatsnextforearth: The Human Predicament.
“Understanding the human predicament is essential if we want to prepare for a resilient future.”
I researched into the resulting effects of our devastating wildfires here in California, looking for something with resilience: and I discovered the Fire Poppy.
They belong to a group of plants known as the fire followers, using heat, smoke, and charred soil as signals to regerminate, proving that great destruction can give rise to something beautiful.
Christina Conklin (California, US)
This is from a series of small salt maps, though this feels like more of a portrait. I’m using salt and slide dyes, rust, and other chemical agents to investigate the unpredictable and impermanent nature of the world we’re co-creating. Going big soon!
Teresa Mill (California, US)
Acrylic on canvas, 18″x24″
The “Exile” in the title of this painting refers to the biblical expulsion from the Garden of Eden, as well as to our current self-imposed emotional exile from the natural world, as well as our predictable future exile from a world we made unlivable. When we were hunter-gatherers, we lived as part of the web of earth, immediately dependant and in dialogue with life around us. When we initiated farming that relationship changed. The very technology we began to use structurally altered our relationship with the earth. We began to shape the earth and use her to our own ends. That break in our relationship to earth has shattered evermore, as we feel divorced from our intrinsic relationship to the earth on which we evolved. Now we treat the earth as a whore to be used, or a pet to be sentimentalized, not realizing that what we destroy or deign to try and save is actually our own umbilical cord, our practical source of life without which we can’t survive.

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