“If science, like art, is to perform its mission truly and fully…its achievements must enter not only superficially but with their inner meaning into the consciousness of people.” Albert Einstein, opening of 1939 New York World’s Fair. Cited in “World of Tomorrow”, National Geographic p.19, March 2020
Missing my mission
Perhaps that is what is lacking. It seems I cannot express my mission well enough for its inner meaning to enter into the consciousness of those viewing my work.
A new cosmic story
We live in a fractured world. For one thing, we have lost a vision beyond our puny self-importance and the immediate satiation of personal desires. Our outlook has diminished to myopic insecurity. As Thomas Berry suggested, we need a new story. A cosmic story could carry us beyond ourselves into a new world of possibilities and mission.
A selfish mission
Fractures began to show up with the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. They were tiny at the time. Almost impossible to see. However, slavery officially ended as more people saw it for what it was. Yet it shows up today, covertly, in the form of human trafficking. The powerful continue to exploit the poor in their mission for more wealth.
Fractures grow wider with each passing year, month, day. Climate change, rabid exploitation of natural resources, extinction of numerous species and the plight of migrating populations seeking peace and a livelihood, illustrate a few of the obvious fractures. There are others. For example, the quiet escape of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from the melting permafrost. I recall having read an article about how dangerous chemicals and hazardous waste have been safely stored in the cold for decades. Now what? Might be a new mission for corporate producers.
I record random fractures in my images. My mission is to disturb. Most evident in the skies, the fracturing disturbs the pristine. The warning touches the soul and misses the consciousness. Consequently, few notice the implications. While we disrupt the natural balance of our world, we deny responsibility. As a result, we move closer to a point of no return. Change must happen for us to survive. So too, millions of other life forms depend on a well-functioning planet Earth.
A circular economy
Thankfully, a few with power are responding. No, I don’t mean the politicians. I mean scientific solutions proposed by major companies such as those supporting publications like the National Geographic. At least their ads suggest a new mission promoting a brighter future and the promise of a circular economy. “The End of Trash”, Susan Goldberg, editor. 6 March 2020.
Science leads the way
Yet hope springs eternal. I hope the meaning behind my art touches the hearts and minds of those who view it. May they be inspired to act, to take on a new mission, a new direction. Furthermore, may science provide a path of healing for our fracturing world. In addition, our leaders may engage in a cooperative effort to create a new sustainable vision for future generations. In any case, the planet will evolve with or without us. And all will be well.