Ecological Blindness
Project info

Themes

A posthuman post-anthropocentric ethical inflexion in the digital turn, AI, big data, algorithms, human enhancements, and biotechnological advancements. And the impact upon environmental sustainability, non-humans, and animals, cast aside through the rise of global inequality, wealth, and power in the hands of a few.

Ecological Blindness

The central narrative interconnecting the interrelated-contradictory nature of themes. A title borrowed from the late philosophical thinker, Alan Watts. Meaning the current cultural state of ignorance most humans seem to be suffering from. An out of sight, out of mind, mentality. The ingrained belief of separability from the natural ecosystems, that homo sapiens inevitably are interconnected to and co-interdependent on for survival. Many species on the Galapagos archipelago have learned to adapt, evolve and thrive into a multitude of new species in one the harshest environments on Earth for many millennia. "This small group of islands has revealed a microcosm of the processes that have shaped all life on Earth", Sir David Attenborough.

Documentary 'Chasing Glaciers', through time-lapse photography revealed the exponential meltdown of glaciers and arctic poles in one's lifetime. The Earth's natural air-conditioning system. Melting ice sheets, lead to rising sea levels, leading to the displacement of climatic nomadic refugees. And an existential catastrophe if we do not address human behaviour, psychology. As more and more forestry systems are cleared, and the quality of the life-support oxygen supply, is directly threatening human life. "The planet and its natural systems are resilient; they recover. But the conditions that make the earth habitable and relatively comfortable for humans are jeopardised because of our actions", David Suzuki. By separating nature from economics, have we walked blindly into tragedy?

Are we in the process of becoming submissive to, passivised, desensitised, robotised by our technological tools? Seduced by latest iPhone model with few added bells and whistles, fetishising technology? Cyborg anthropologist Amber Case argues in favour of slowing down and using technology to express our humanity rather than robotising it. Recentralising and reasserting the human/techne relationship. "If you do not know yourself, the algorithms will know you better than you do".

The ingenious creation of the smartphone computational device fitting snuggly in one's pocket. Enabling hand/thump interstellar communicative telepathy. On one hand, is democratisation and dissemination of information globally, as more and more people are connected to the internet of everything now. Toward a better informed educated, well oiled socially/politically/globally aware citizen. On the other hand, the smartphone has become umbilical by nature. An ontological-surrogate aiding a powerful extension in-between our most personal memories. A black mirror surveillance portal to/from/between the interconnected web. The ability to be in a number of places at once. In the physical garden surround, on Facebook, transferring bank funds, awhile virtually surfing Googles infinite informational flux. Yet barely able to freely experience the physical world without a mobile device in hand, "umbilically interconnected".

The mobile device in hand and internet of everything are directly linked to the rise of a new religion, 'Dataism'. Extractive capitalism, the lifeblood of dataism, is information. In an attention economy, companies compete for our precious attention, "informational blood". No wonder humans have become ecologically blind, constipated by informational overload. In a state of present shock. No longer able to decipher, fathom fact from fiction, real and the virtual, truth from a conspiracy. See the world for what it is.

Elon Musk now poses the question, are we ready for a technological upgrade? Indicating in favour of a human brain/machine symbiosis, that would free our hand/thumb from this primal motion, toward a cognitive mediated telepathy. Could an implant be the long-awaited solution, for those people suffering from separation anxiety when losing sight/touch of their smartphone for a few moments? I used to make a common joke with friends, “you need to get an implant”.

Or do we need to find a balance, an equilibrium? Learn to disconnect from our technological tools from time to time, re-engage with nature fellow humans and our intuition? Learn to breathe, be, become regenerative from inside out, toward greater change and transformation. Or will we continue to make the same historical mistakes with new technological mediated advancements and enhancements? Blindly and mindlessly moving forward into the future with a caveman mentality?