Everything’s moving so fast that it seems that nothing can make a change.
It is so hard to stay in tune to the immanence of something. It’s so hard to know when things are happening for sure. I await confirmation but, partly because we don’t know and partly because we don’t want to know, it never arrives. Yet I get pangs of dread on days like this one: there’s been no rain for a good while, it’s mid-April but the trees are coming into leaf already, creating a quintessential late May-to-early June look, and the sky, for days on end now, has had the endless blueness of a great summer. Something doesn’t feel right. But it isn’t enough to create a rupture – at least, it isn’t enough to create a rupture for me, as I passively switch to music on my MP3 player which will MTV-ise my fears, as I walk along the lane to work.
Ever since I went to the March 26 demonstrations against the state funding cuts, held in London, I have possessed an urgency for change, or at least a deep determination to have urgency for change, something which has had no chance within me since the rupture caused by my new-found terror about environmental catastrophes, whilst in my late teens, propelled me into a routine fenced with the mental equivalent of the Berlin Wall, which blocked all space for risk.
Yet, If the social problems caused by capitalism make up the foe I am fighting with on a raft afloat on dangerous waters, then it is the looming environmental catastrophe it is bringing onto us, which is the deep gorge drop (certain doom) which the raft is drifting rapidly towards.
However, I still use the word looming, but is it looming? Are we not already living through it? There’s been enough environmental disasters around the world and weird weather happenings at home to surely convince that it (climate change/chaos/catastrophe etc) is already happening, yet I still refer to it as looming – waiting to reveal itself from around the corner; a confirmation that things are going wrong, like that fear the media creates in all us passive western consumers that disaster will truly reveal itself soon, in the shape of a terrorist bomb explosion just as we happen to be walking in that chosen area.
But everything moves so fast that it is so hard to even to keep focus on a deeply concerning article one may have read. The worry remains, but it seeps out into every other thing worth worrying about, whilst the confirmation we may have after reading that certain article that we are already entering a new, turbulent, era (i.e we are now living through climate change) is diluted by the omnipresent self-triumphant capitalist imagery. Charlie Brooker’s criticisms of rolling news are very prescient, because the effect it induces of uncontrollable events whizzing past our helpless bodies applies to the entire information spectrum in the 21st century. Everything’s moving so fast that it seems that nothing can make a change. We just feel like passengers riding along through a big mess, and we cannot figure out whether there’s anybody driving or not. And the need to break out of this passive gaze at the world unfolding (even as I make my art work that is directly documenting this, as it has, despite the fact that it is still a necessity within my objectives, has in the recent years certainly taken the role in the main part in my whole-life procrastination to avoid coming face to face with the risk and instability) and act now not later is perhaps the only right thing I can do now, and the need to break through this passivity, is perhaps the the fight most western citizens who can’t ignore what’s going on in the world should attempt.
But I will not preach until I have finally put this into practice, and Judging on my current incapability to fully realise the likely immanence of climate change, even as knowledge tells me it is true, makes me wonder if I will ever be able to break out of this deadlock.