WORDS & COLLAGES: GARRETT BLAD
The dominant global culture has eroded most of my roots, leaving me largely disconnected from the natural world and many around me. This disconnect has become so severe that I struggle to believe alternatives are possible. Corporate capitalism, production for production’s sake, exponential growth - all must continue, no questions asked we are told. The next iPhone series, the launch of SpaceX rockets, and free virtual reality goggles with a Samsung S7 purchase keep me distracted and light, moving through my daily chores excited, somehow, about the future. These are not perceived as aberrations, but touchstones of human progress and worth in mainstream culture. Coffee in the morning for productivity, alcohol at night for ease, and a cigarette on top for indulgence. Meanwhile, dating and sex apps, online chat/porn outlets, and chronic levels of sexual assaults redefine intimacy, connection, and the meaning of relationships. Altogether, we are further separated from each other, nature, and even ourselves.
This is not to say that these areas are inherently negative. The dominant orientation, however, is separation over connection. And connection is what we need in order to heal the pain and suffering of the world.
These collages represent four pieces of the glue holding together our current mainstream culture. Each currently assists upward human “ascension", aiding the further exploitation of and control over the non-human world. For this series, I chose images of men set amongst chaotic space backdrops to illustrate four areas of separation. The mountains on the bottom, always close but separated from the figures, are perceived as desolate and over-powering - something that needs to be controlled. The colorful noise in the background brings to life the energy of the non-human world - entropy always greater than zero.