Iterations: Blue 1117 ink and watercolor on paper
Natural and artificial are lies.
I often hear comments about humanity staged in the idea that humanity is the problem with the world. That nature is by itself a wonderful thing, and only humanity ever fucks it up. People rail on and on about wanting a more natural world, and how dangerous the artificial and the man-made are. If only we went back to nature is how the motto goes. Act more natural, live more natural, embrace nature.
But I can’t follow this, because I believe we are nature. Everything we do is natural. We act out in the natural realm. And every thought we have occurs because we are nature.
Culture tends to obfuscate this fact –particularly in western philosophy– by teaching us that we can step back from things, that we can imagine ourselves apart, and therefore we are apart. We can go back to nature, only because we believe we strayed at some point. But where this idea comes from is pretty strange. We have to first believe that humanity is somehow stronger then the universe, and in someways just as wise, for this to even remotely be possible.
What it is instead is the total self-involvement of humans. We cannot imagine the world working without us, because the world is in front of us – separate. We can only see nature as we see through ourselves – a sunset is only beautiful because it is seen with human eyes, a kitten’s fur is only soft to human skin, a chemical only dangerous to what we perceive as life, a climate worth saving because we understand how it works now.
This is not to say that I believe we should abandon environmentalism, conservationism and the joy of interacting with animals. Its more that I don’t care to be addressed as a separate being from the universe, because the mental effect of this seems just as harmful. By separating ourselves, we allow separation, create dichotomies of thought, and disavow our inherent connections to the natural world.
I think of this alot when I am drawing. Mapping out the tension between what we market as nature and what we market as the artificial, are not in fact separate entities. As I work it becomes more clear to me, that everything follows patterns that come from somewhere outside of us. Patterns we can’t escape. Patterns of nature.