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and the dawning of the post-carbon eventuality...

Friday, December 16, 2022

What happened?

 I’d like to blame it on the pandemic, and for the most part I will, but I look back to my last blog entry (2019!), and it’s clear that something stopped me in my tracks a few months before the Pandemic took shape. But at this point, I don’t pretend to remember exactly what happened. I only know that I’m glad to be back.

There are lots of things on my mind these days, and without digressing too much, I just want to go over some of the things I expect to write about in the next weeks ahead.

It snowed in Montreal today. I rode my newly refurbished winter bike home from work with great enthusiasm, and look forward to the three and a half months ahead of winter cycling. This is the foundational theme of kyotomotors, in the sense that it is the only real way in which I know I can actively not contribute to the problem of spewing GHG into the atmosphere on a daily basis. Is my carbon footprint where it should be? Probably not. Some impacts are beyond individual control. We do what we can… but interestingly enough, my last post before my hiatus was on this very subject, and you might like to check that out here. It seems just as relevant today as it was when I wrote it three years ago.

Apart from the theme of biking, which I know is not for everyone, I am inevitably going to want to talk about recent news related to energy and money, and the future. Is there a reason why the headlines don’t read “ENERGY CRISIS LOOMING”? Well, the answer is probably “yes,” but it’s not because there’s not an energy crisis looming. Instead, we get breaking, er, “news” about the promising breakthrough in fusion technology. So, I’m planning on rambling on a bit about propaganda in the weeks ahead… Wait for it!

As an artist, I have also been watching the financialization of the “industry” of art over the years: a high-stakes, hijinks/ hijacking of an otherwise introspective, solemn often solitary endeavour; but when you’re a civilisation high on fossil fuels, everybody is jumping on the bandwagon of creativity, not to mention the museums, collectors/investors and mega-galleries. Nero ain’t got nothin’ on this! But that’s an aside, really. Like everything nowadays, the art world is simply wrapped up in the maelstrom that is the perpetual growth paradigm, which is to say, as we consume the planet at breakneck speed, many our would-be “best achievements” become distorted and grotesque, as does our celebration of them.

So, any enthusiastic discussion of art in this forum will be dampened, as a deliberate antidote to the hype. One rule of thumb I go by, is that, if it requires hype from the get-go, it probably hasn’t go legs to stand on. Block-buster Museum shows and “immersive” exhibitions that re-frame historic works for the world of attention deficit disorder consumers, will not get a hall pass in these corridors. But I do wish to wax enthusiastically about art here, don’t get me wrong. I’ve touched on the idea of “the work of art in the age of the combustion engine” in the past. There is much more terrain to explore in this thematic realm, and I will do my best to try and broach topics not typically talked about in the art world.

Ah, promises, promises…

Kyotomotors!  Where, and how did it all start? And who really cares? I thought rather naively, back then, that we would collectively tackle the challenges of global warming much better than we have. I now think we have created a dark age ahead that is unavoidable. I would like to think the themes of biking through to the future; deconstructing the lies we tell ourselves about that future; and that of genuine artistic endeavours, will lead to helpful discussions about how to deal with the post-modern stress disorder that most of us suffer from in one form or another. I certainly think embracing these themes will provide plenty of material for discussion in the months ahead. I hope this time I have the energy for the long haul!