Tuesday, September 9, 2014

9/9. Climate Determinism

Below you will find the collected responses from today's field exercise; three views from Cornell, three different representations of Nature, and as evidenced below, a good many more Natures. Please read them over carefully before our next class. 

Part I. 

Vincent J.F. Huang, Born in 1971; 
Polar Bear Hamburger, 2014

The polar bear in a cheeseburger symbolizes humanity’s complete control over NATURE in order to advance humanity’s selfish desires. The polar bear and its environment have been greatly affected by climate change, just like humans controlling cattle for hamburgers (selfish).  
Bear’s tongue: suffering or mocking? 
In essence we are slaughtering polar bears (like we slaughter cows to make hamburgers) by polluting the air such that greenhouse gases cause the temperature of the earth to rise and destroy polar bear habitats.  
This piece of work embodies the destruction of NATURE at the hands of humans. The burger, something we literally hold in our hands, has a polar bear. The bears position indicates how they are getting “eaten” up. However, the polar bear is representative of all NATURE because it has been the face of endangered species in recent years
This piece of art represents what, we, as humans are doing to other species around the world through climate change especially Polar Bears have done no wrong yet they are being punished and “eaten up” by our wrongdoings. 
What an interesting piece. Although not at first obvious. I think that it is related to NATURE, or rather illustrating NATURE, in the way of juxtaposing humanly creations with the very nonhuman polar bear. The polar bear lies at the substructure of polarburger as to represent the continuous obliviousness of man in face of all NATURE —an overwhelming sublimity. We never truly understand our overarching often indirect impact on the life of other nonhuman entities. 
Human society is killing NATURE. The burger represents us as humans industrializing the world and using up our NATURAL resources and the polar bear represents the wildlife of the Earth. The bear has no choice and is sandwiched by our need to industrialize and globalize. He is being weighed down by our poor choices. 
The polar bear as the patty of a burger symbolizes the death of the polar bear and the melting of the polar ice caps. The more we industrialize and pollute, the more the polar ice caps are melting, thereby killing the polar bears. The burger itself represents industry such as the fast food industry and its ‘expansion’ has negative effects on the environment, one represented by this piece of art is the melting of the polar ice caps. 
The artist is portraying how society is “squashing” the animals. We care more about our fast food (e.g. McDonalds and Burger King) than we do the endangered animals in the environment. Thus, animals such as the polar bear populations are being “flattened” out due to the increase in global warming and the “pressure’ we, as society, place on the environment. 
The first thing that jumps out is that nature is being represented in the literal sense by a polar bear while the hamburger represents consumerism. On a deeper level, nature is being represented as helpless in the face of industry and subject to us and how we treat it. To put a cow there would have similar effect but on a smaller scale. The polar bear immediately makes you think of the global impact because we associate it with global climate change.
The artwork represents how humans carelessly treat NATURE to their own advantage. The polar bear, symbolizing NATURE, is seen “sandwiched” in a hamburger —ready to be devoured by humans. In a way, the polar bear is being disrespected, which thus shows nature being disrespected. Humans believe they are superior towards nature, and feel it is fine to “eat” a polar bear hamburger

The artist is representing NATURE as something perishable and directly connected to our actions and decisions. The polar bear represents the detrimental effects global warming has on climate and therefore animal habitats. He draws connection between the meat we consume and the exacerbation of thus climate change. 
The sculpture articulates the unseen impact of consumption on the environment. Comfort and normalcy are interjected with the uncomfortable reality of the impact of our consumption habits have on NATURE.

The piece represents NATURE with its centerpiece, a polar bear which directly relates to NATURE and what surrounds the bear, various agricultural products which can occur in NATURE but are created with the help of man. This piece reflects how the polar bears are doing due to human causes. 
The art depicts polar bear in place of a burger patty. I believe this is a piece of art that depicts polar bears difficult situation resulting from climate change. Since humans slaughter animals to use them for food, this suggests that humans are also inadvertently slaughtering polar bears with the global warming we are mainly responsible for. Overall, the image also represents the different parts of NATURE humans use for their luxury and pleasure. It shows how homo sapiens have become one of the most dominant species in the world
The fact that it’s a bear, which represents NATURE is significant. The bear is dead, and all living things die (this is a representation of NATURE). Other condiments (i.e. ketchup, pickles, etc) also are representations of NATURE. 
This piece of art represents how humans are putting our own greedy needs and desires above the welfare of the environment. We’d rather get a fast food cheeseburger than care about or contemplate the long term condition of the world. The polar bear inside the burger portrays the harm our behavior does to animals and the rest of the environment.
Part II. 
Marc Keane, class of 79'; 
The Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Garden, 2011

This courtyard is an example of humans attempting to control nature —but green and plants and rocks isn’t what makes the wilderness “NATURE”. Real wilderness is obviously, wild. There is a raw, entropic feel to letting it all take its course. There is randomness that we find beauty in. Once we try to recreate that —or even alter it to be “more” beautiful as in the case of this courtyard, we take away the one defining characteristic that the wilderness has to offer.
No since it is manmade; the rocks were moved here by people, plants planted by people, the landscape determined by people.  
Although it is composed of organic things, the composition is not NATURAL because it was obviously erected by man. (Reminds me of the Grand Canyon with Colorado river flowing through )
This little courtyard is not the wilderness, but rather a grove that it is man-made, yet it is representative of it. It portrays the grandeur of the Ithaca gorges at a smaller level. It tries to make itself look larger than it actually is. Also, within the courtyard itself, there are no man-made objects, its just man arranged
This is not wilderness because of its man-made roots. I believe that the person who made this ‘courtyard’ was trying to represent ‘wilderness’ and Cornell by creating something that compare to a gorge, not in size, but in representation.
The setting of the courtyard confronts one with an overwhelming sense because I felt like the NATURA [qua] wilderness —that which has absolutely no interaction by man or not impacted at all by man —was forcefully compounded together on a dramatically small scale, ridiculing ourselves in misperceiving the NATURAL. 

NATURE is depicted in this garden as an isolated area where stillness occurs. Here, this piece of “artificial” nature is isolated and integrated in a different environment. This garden, although tries to be NATURAL, is artificial piece of artwork where it transforms the viewer’s perspective of their present environment.
The courtyard was definitely an UN-NATURAL thing -and kind of an eyesore because of it. The plants look different than what’s normally around the school, and the entire thing is laid out in a very deliberately, orderly, “UN-NATURALLY” way. 
This is not wilderness because of its man-made arrangement and foliage. While the parts of it represent NATURE such as the tree and the bushes, the physical set-up was not NATURAL since humans took elements of nature and arranged it on an alternative layout from its NATURAL state. 
This is not the same as wilderness since this was man-made. What already existed before humans tampered with it is considered NATURAL. NATURE is essentially the manifestation of the actions and existence of every other species in the world. Even though this relies on the “NATURAL” instincts of plants, the creation of this area is completely artificial.
This is not NATURAL because it was obviously man made. The rock formations and its placement right next to the museum is not that likely to occur in NATURE and especially the abrupt ending of the rocks in the river seems sketchy. 
The garden courtyard outside of the Johnson Museum is a refinement of forms, place, and elements of NATURE but this also disqualifies it. The garden is a controlling influence over NATURAL elements, but still a concept honed in artifice. This style of meditative garden provides an idealized view of NATURE as seen through our human perception. 
Part III. 
Pedestrian Suspension Bridge; 
Ithaca, NY 

The view from the bridge makes me feel restrained and insignificant to NATURE, in which the grand scenery and landscape concludes how vast NATURE is in comparison to humans. This net also guards us and breaks off our connection with NATURE in a way that affirms how disconnected we are with NATURE. 
NATURE is represented literally here. It is a landscape with a gorge, probably similar to the land Cornell was built on. Here NATURE is beautiful and “pure,” not affected by humans. This landscape is pleasing to look at. It does lead you to wonder, is this place no longer beautiful and NATURAL because of the university? What is the difference between beautiful Cornell and its beautiful location?
The nets definitely obstruct the view and the sublime. The truth is, if someone wanted to jump, they could find a way. The net is a mental safety blanket so that we think we don’t have a choice between life and death. 
The NATURAL beauty of the bridge in not in anyway affected by the nets on the bridge. You can easily see right through through them. The view itself is extraordinary with the rushing waters, soaring cliffs and beautiful vegetation. 
There is a lot of NATURAL beauty of the area and it is extremely important to protect this beauty, but I also think that the safety of the students is equally important. I think the net is a good compromise, it protects the students and doesn’t really disrupt the NATURAL beauty of the landscape.
NATURE is abundant from this view. The river has naturally carved out the steep rock face cliffs on the sides, while foliage still tries to grow from the cracks and crevices. The netting however does detract from the view and gives the bridge crossers a feeling of entrapment. Still if one is truly absorbed in the NATURE, the net can become irrelevant. 
The view from the bridge exudes sublime —looking out, you can see the full extent of the land, but looking down, you feel small. Something just screams danger within you, but also a captivation to the roar of the waterfalls, the history and magnificence. The barriers obstruct the view, but I feel they are a reality check, ensuring you don’t get too into it. 

The view from the bridge demonstrates how extensive NATURE is in our lives. It certainly depicts how small humans are in the world. The view extends past the entire gorge and to other NATURAL sights. The fencing and netting represent the separation between NATURE and human civilization. It does not ruin the view.
We are surrounded by two shells. The outer shell is NATURE; although there are traces of humans here, the view is no less beautiful and the place no less NATURAL. We enjoy looking at these steep drop offs and waterfall because they remind us of how large and old the Earth is. It’s like a panoramic view of time. 
NATURE in this situation is all around us. The gorges were carried out by a NATURAL process hundreds of thousands of years ago. The waterfall and cascading water add the sound of NATURE. Also the green from the trees add to the aesthetic value. Finally, the random pattern in which the water flows in those mini-rapids attest to NATURE. 
Standing on the bridge with the fence takes away from the beauty of the view. It makes me feel enclosed, almost like I shouldn’t be looking at it. Yet, it does provide a feeling of safety. For instance, I’m leaning on the railing and without the fence I would not feel secure enough to do that. 
I think that the view does provide an awareness of true wilderness, but not a real sensibility of it. There is no perception of true NATURE because of how man places himself in it. We trap ourselves in our recognizable reality of life for it is difficult to look past the barriers. Below is untouched by human hands, but above man is interfering with it. The nets did not affect this because they were added to the already humanly constructed bridge.
Encapsulated and separated, a thin wire net is a constant reminder of the treacherously sublime NATURE of this place. The water flowing endlessly down the falls; also surrounded, but instead of nets, by shear cliff gorges. The sublimity of this view, however, is reduced; its relationship to the classical interpretation of death in a state of overt presence as well as separation. 
View from suspension bridge: breath taking. I didn’t expect to be so high up. The net by no means destroys the view; once can still very much appreciate it. However, I do feel less “immersed” in the view/NATURE with the net, less “close” to NATURE. 
NATURE and wilderness exist in the water and actual gorge —and while the bridge and netting is safe, its the construction and human alterations that detract from seeing the beauty, not just figuratively, but literally —you can’t actually look at the NATURE on the bridge without physically having to look past netting. 

Part IV. 
Nature "is"...

  • Nature is the biological underpinning of cultural phenomena
  • Nature is the opposite of culture
  • Nature is not artificial or man-made
  • Nature is inhuman
  • Nature is the environment
  • Nature is truth
  • Nature is pictured and panoramic 
  • Nature is sublime; beyond calculation, awe-inspiring
  • Nature is the neutral backdrop and stage for human affairs
  • Nature is the physical reality that exists apart from us
  • Nature is an infinite frontier of everlasting abundance
  • Nature is sacred
  • Nature is beautiful; gorgeous, striking, enjoyable
  • Nature is mastered and disciplined
  • Nature is local and healthy
  • Nature is controlled and interfered with
  • Nature is cyclical; balanced, self-sustaining, self-regulating
  • Nature is non-circular; chaotic, irregular
  • Nature is desolate; an empty space that is indifferent to humans
  • Nature is wild
  • Nature is a constraint on human freedom; constitutive of limits and meaning
  • Nature is patterned and orderly
  • Nature is random
  • Nature is un-arranged 
  • Nature is a series of recurring zones of uniformity 
  • Nature is bushy foliage
  • Nature is sometimes not natural 
  • Nature is tranquil and quiet
  • Nature is something to be had, or taken advantage of
  • Nature is ruined 
  • Nature is on our side
  • Nature is innocent
  • Nature is impacted; polluted, lost, flattened 
  • Nature is obstructed; confined, destroyed, disturbed, damned
  • Nature is ever lasting; infinite and boundless
  • Nature is ephemeral; a non-repeating finitude 
  • Nature is instinctual 
  • Nature is rushing, roaring, green
  • Nature is threatened and entropic
  • Nature is observable and beyond comprehension
  • Nature is a state of being not gardened; raw and uncooked
  • Nature is changing; governed by timeless laws
  • Nature is unchanging; governed by timeless laws

Part V. 
Seasons through the Fences, 2005-2014





No comments:

Post a Comment