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Journal

A reflective journal of my practice, process, and thoughts.

Posts tagged natural
The Fault Line
It is a characteristic of our species, in evolutionary terms, that we are a species in despair, for a number of reasons. Because we have created an environment for us which isn’t what it should be. And we’re out of our depth all of the time. We’re living exactly on the borderline between the natural world from which we are being driven out… and that other world which is generated by our brain cells. And so clearly that fault line runs right through our physical and emotional makeup. And probably where these tectonic plates rub against each other is where the sources of pain are. Memory is one of those phenomena… And I think there is no way we can escape it.
— W.G. Sebald
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Tutorial 1 - 29/10/18, Jonathan Kearney

My first tutorial with Jonathan has really helped me start to consider reframing the emotive experiences at the roots of my exploration and questioning the potential of experiences which might be initially considered traumatic or generally negative, as actually opening up spaces for reflection on the nature of change. We each discussed some our own personal experiences of witnessing changes in the health and wellbeing of loved ones, such as processes of neurological disease, a discussion which I am very appreciative of and has helped me to begin thinking about our (to some extent) default reactions to ecological loss; human, physical or mental (memory, language), and environmental (resources, wilderness): Jane Bennett in Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, discusses how our “modern selves are feeling increasingly entangled, cosmically, biotechnically, medially, virally, pharmacologically, with nonhuman nature. Nature has always mixed it up with self and society, but lately this comingling has intensified and become harder to ignore”.

We spoke about our understandings of transformation, and how we might reposition our perspectives on experiences which we might be almost programmed to ‘view’ and process as being either positive or negative, as instead being transformative, with the power of this as a kind of lens being to re-evaluate our relationships with the present: how do we respond to environmental degradation if we lose sight of the hope in acting on change? What is being done today in the pursuit of re-aligning negative effects and trends in human ecology, with helpful concepts and strategies? This is a question which I am interested in pursuing in terms of my communications with both neurologists and geologists. I am also spending some time concentrating on the aspect of personal narrative within my project which is a thread we discussed in my tutorial but has also come up in our symposiums, in relation actually to several of our practices including Friederike’s work, particularly in relation to types of mythologised experience; I am drawn back to Joseph Beuys in this regard as I begin to work with materials in new ways.

^ Hiroshi Sugimoto: ‘Pre-Photography Time Recording Device 040’ (left), ‘PPTRD 028’ (right), ‘South Bay Drive-In', 1993’ (centre)

  • Transformative experiences. Question of ‘negative’ experiences such as witnessing disease progress and take hold over the lives of loved ones as being powerful in opening up unique spaces for reflection, and re-evaluating our experience of the present.

  • These situations and changes make us shift our perceptions, pushing us to explore a sense and space of time pausing. A release. Associations between relative space and geo-biological foundations.

  • Natural change versus our feelings about how natural change should behave.