Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2016

Outwith the Anthropocene

...move lightly, trace the rock like shadow, let it return 
I was struck by one sentence in Robert MacFarlane's darkly sparkling article on Generation Anthropocene in the Guardian recently, when he is pointing us to the artistic response to living in a new geological era created by our own presence and detritus:

'...salvation and self-knowledge can no longer be found in a mountain peak or stooping falcon, and categories such as the picturesque or even the beautiful congeal into kitsch.'

Romantic notions of the sublime are dead and even our so-called wildernesses, such as the Highland bleakness, are manufactured landscapes appealing to our sense of self-reflective emptiness and vistas of consciousness. They are accidents of land management, political histories of resource and exhaustion, 'wilded' by deforestatation and adjusted to our current sensitivites. Where now can the picturesque be found, in a world of plastic seas and turtles drowned in fishing nets? The n…