My collages interrogate nature-culture hybridity in the Anthropocene: the geological era wherein humanity has so significantly impacted global climates and earth-systems that its presence will register permanently in the geological record. The attached pieces mimetically reproduce this fusion of natural and artificial materials in order to question the idea of “Nature” itself. By juxtaposing diverse textures, ensconcing one image within another, not only do these images form an aesthetic rupture, they model an ethical one: the Anthropocene forces us to consider our roles both as inhabitants and as shapers of a planet. Parts of these collages (anywhere from one- to two-thirds of each piece) are formed by layering contrasting images over one another, typically one emblematic of flora or fauna and another of industry, mechanization, quantification, or technology. By grafting these images onto one another, I mean to suggest that culture is permanently embedded in nature, so pervasively—and so perversely—so that no aspect of the natural world can any longer be thought of as such. Oceans contain chemical byproducts and plastic waste, the polar icecaps are melting, and the air itself is dense with traces of carboniferous material. Such ubiquity all too often instills us with a sense of resignation. Because the problem of climate disaster operates on a global scale, individuals can feel helpless at the mere prospect of addressing the many problems it presents. My hope is that, by modeling this hybrid ontology, these images can provoke a similar hybridity of thought, the kind of interdisciplinary deliberation that enables new modes of thinking and permits us to imagine alternative methodologies for addressing our era of ecological collapse.
View collages in the following publications