Lecturer: Gregory Sotir
Teacher bio: http://peoplescolloquium.org/teacher-bios/
Lecture One focused on the fracture in human culture from our connections to the natural world via mechanistic thought, language definitions that codified economic despair, and the imposition of fear and guilt-based religious structures, Lecture Two on the abuse of environmental and ecological niches and recent disruption of planetary biosystems. The question of can the ‘fracture’ that caused this intense disassociation with the creative and imaginative spirit be healed still is an open one.
It is my proposal that the anxiety thus created has nurtured a deep-seated rage that is today expressed in militarism, misogyny, and terrorism.
Claustrophobia enters this modern malaise as an engram. The confinement of schoolrooms, work cubicles, industrialized prisons, designed identities, and the inescapable technologic network that we have created exposes the memory-trace of ‘freedom’ as a folly, or worse. Some effects of this can be seen in explosive rage patterns such as incidents of road-rage and air-rage, or American mass-shootings, to name just a few.
The rage borders on despair, becoming normalized across traditional gender roles and spawning new vocabularies such as ‘microaggressions’. People going berserk over small indignities, where the difficulties and broken promises of modern life have piled up in an abandoned landfill bereft of recognition, explode into a short-lived howl of localized mayhem.
There seems be a corollary pattern in marginalized religious and ethnic groups, answered with religious terrorism, and the larger terror of genocide.
The governing class’ ignoring of planetary carrying capacity has also created a sense that all wars now fought, and to be fought in the future, are and will be for resources (even if mythologized.) War becomes endless, just like individual anger, creating a further disassociation from the natural world of complementary functioning ecosystems.
How can the creative artist translate this twisted dynamic, unfolding around us in a hyper-stimulated world, into a body of work that illustrates and transform rage, that aberrant emotion, into something positive?