Sunday, August 19, 2012

Botanics and the Technosphere

Cone flower and Clouds
Collage, Tombo Markers, Gelli Roll Pens
Koi Watercolors, Copic Markers

It is the height of August beauty at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  Actually, many of the Cone flowers are faded from the intense heat of the summer.  But there still is a glorious riot of color.  When I am at the Gardens with the glory of color that is summer here, with lush green and happy bees having an orgy all around, I feel so blissful in in the moment and let go of my worries.  I become one with this beauty.  Think that is why I love the Gardens so much.

In contrast, on Thursdays, I teach my college class called Technology and Society.  Used to be called Technology,  Ethics and Society but at some point corporate dropped "ethics" although that is still what the book is called.  My students share articles from the web related to science,technology and society.  They mostly bring in articles about the changing screen size for the Smart Phone or Apple's lawsuits against Android.

I've made the list repeatedly for them: current events in science and technology that effect us all.  I know this class is meant to encourage critical thinking and awareness of issues facing the modern world but I am surprised that they are not aware of or do not care about the larger issues: genetically altered food and other food source concerns; regulation of polluting  industries; globalization and the third world; person to person communication issues caused by  over-reliance on electronic communication; global warming; radioactive pollution that is mutating wildlife and insects and many other human caused environmental issues that need to be aired.

So now you will often see indicators of my awareness, in my art, that the technosphere man-made technologies from the wheel to the latest development in weaponry) and nature are no longer separate.  We have taken and added to the natural world with ingenuity and ferocity such that even native crops can be found to have altered genes in their make-up.

I feel sad that I would probably become ill if I drank untreated water from a lake or stream. Rain contains pollutants that acidify soil and oceans.  We have changed the weather.

So you might see torn pages from news articles intertwined with leaves, stems and bloosums. I can still create art about the beauty of nature while acknowledging my pain about the ways we've altered our world in ways from which there is no returning.

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