Provocation 1: forgetting & remembering the air
This lecture focused on an analogy developed by the painter Paul Klee, who said that people are like seeds connected to their surroundings. The way the body has developed is dependant on its environment. The ecologist David Abram argues that humans are no longer aware of their ecological surroundings and have lost connection with nature, this has led to conflict with other species and climate change.
Abrams also commented that scientists prefer to talk about the environment in terms of it being ‘chaotic’ when in fact a better word would be ‘wild’. The language used to describe ecology alters how humans perceive their surroundings, this is why people have forgotten the air and now view it as empty space. Abram goes on to say that the air is already ‘full’ but humans view it as a nothingness in which to dump their pollution. This is a theory that has been developed since Hippocrates attested that wind (air) is “the most powerful of all in all”; invisible to sight, but visible to reason.
Using the Kite analogy that “flyer and air do not so much interact as correspond.” we were asked to form groups and write a narrative about Beechams and how it impacts the environment in terms of wind, dust and pollution. Our group discussed the ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario where Beechams is creating pollution whilst simultaneously offering a solution to it. For example, colds and flu are exacerbated by air borne pollution created by the Beechams factory. If the factory did not exist, then the demand for the product would not be so great.