Land documents our conduct – it reflects our ways of living: our thinking and our actions. Our perceptions of landscape are moulded by subjective preoccupations – transfiguring these, needs the re-engineering of our relationship with nature.
“As scientific understanding has grown, so our world has become dehumanised. Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos, because he is no longer involved in nature and has lost his emotional ‘unconscious identity’ with natural phenomena”.
Mapping our hidden impacts on the planet has demanded the re-examining of the commonplace – a cognitive reconfiguring of the ‘common ground’ we all share. Revealing the scabby paint and peeling wallpaper to explore the world beneath the decorative façade. Geologists have issued compelling evidence that the ‘anthropocene’, a term conceived in 2002 by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen, marks a geological age – a new epoch of a human related geological footprint. The strata will evidence such activities as: radio-active fall-out from atomic tests, increased carbon-dioxide levels, concentration of nitrates in the oceans, extensive plastic pollution, mass extinction of species, large scale mining, significant river damming and deforestation.
One of the truly hidden landscapes is that of the invisible toxic air we breathe laden with chemicals and vapours that with sinister intent dance around our environment. The perpetual paradox is that whilst we have created this hidden, alchemic landscape, its attributes of dangerous pollution and contamination are those, which display highly visible evidence in humans.
The focus for the second part of the UCLan residency will be spent investigating the toxic planet.