The main question of this roundtable is if art can influence people´s mindset towardsnature conservation.
To me there are too many questions that arise with this idea.
I have always thought that in order to have ecological sustainability, the most important tools were basically two: education and uplifting populations from poverty.
But TODAY there are many elements that come into play both, for and against this.
Nature has always been present in art.
Drawing… is the first abstraction, and some artists continue using this tool.
Today the Pompidou Center in Paris exhibits sculptures made of plastic, by using a revolutionary 3D digital printer. The sculptures are inspired in repetitive patterns foundin nature, so the latteralways inspires new creations. However, a machine will always have its limitations.
Rafael Hastings recently showed me a documentary on a British philosopher, Roger Scruton, whose theme was ¨Beauty Matters¨.
Roger Scruton says that up to 1920, if a survey had been performed asking people what art was?they would have answered that art was beauty, and that it was a part of daily life.
Then, since the 20th century, art was focused on breaking taboos and myths, it was originality that matter. Aside from Warhol, who created an art industry.
Beauty has lost the value it had in the art piece itself. Therefore, it is not present in ourconsciousness. Andbecause of this we are losing the meaning of Life.
In my view, if we lose anyintentionwe have towards nature, we are turning our backs on it.
I think we are destroying it inexchange for Progress. I am not against progress, just the way it is being done.
In my opinion,art as such, disconnected and disarticulated from its own essence, cannot do much to preserve nature.
Robert Hughes says that if art does not stop being simple marketing, a commodity, it will stop existing, as the economic system is no longeras valid as itwas before.
I think that if human beings would disappear from the face of the earth, the earth would regenerate by it self. But Ithink that before that, there will be a change in consciousness.
In the way I look at life, there are three ways of searching: none of them super-exceeds the other, in fact, I think they all work congruently.
The Physical, the Psychic, and the Spiritual, and it is in the latter that an artist searches and findshimself.
It is been 12 years since I start going into the jungle, motivated by a feeling of gratitude to the earth for what it has given me. After exploring its rivers,the vision of the mercury disaster appeared clear in my mind. I assure you that thevisionwasscary, andbroughta sense ofdeath that has beendifficult to remove from my soul.
Itwas recently that I understood something:that the visionthat the peopleof the jungle have of the worldiscompletelyholistic.They enter intosituations and dimensions,seeing them as a whole.
When they drawa ceramicor a fabric, onesingsand the other…drawsthe singing from the other side. Andwhen they finish,the drawingmagicallyfits.
Whena childis born, theybath herwith moonlight,and sing to her under the lightof the moon, so that when she grows up,she can sing well and weave great dreams.
Tomy thinking, there was somethingbeyondthisway of seeing theworld thatwas veryvaluable.I realized thattheway to lookat it was very similar to mine,as an artist.
Then I call a friend, whohas always been afriendI turn to when I am looking for advice, answers, and directions, MiguelReynel, who doesnot liveherenow, andI mentioned this to him. ¨Of course – he says -,I am very impressed bya bookthat I am going togetfor you. It is written by an Americanpsychologist,JulianJaynes,whowrote¨TheOriginof Consciousness inthe Breakdownof theBicameralMind¨.
According to Jaynes, it is in the right hemisphere where intuition, music, spatial orientation, magical thinking of the gods, and inner voices exist. I think it is where I play, and where passion comes together in a holistic and inseparable manner.
Whenwritingfirst emergein Greece, is when the mindand reasonbegan togovern us, andwe forgot about theempty spacebetween words, the rhythm and the musicthat existdespite of the mind,but that we canno longersee it orfeel it.
I do not talk about the music as it is, but about the sound of Life and the Life of Nature. It is recently that the sounds of plants have been captured and if you could hear them, you will feel something extraordinary. It is a wonderful concert, they sing, they chant.
I firmly believe thatat this point inthe life of theplanet, a human being, whether artist ormusicianor just someone who calls himself ¨human¨, should be alertso thatthe musicof thewater does notgoaway (and thisis, in fact, a metaphor; and, in some cases,also a reality.) What I meanby this is that we are water, our bodies are madeofthis element,when we heara snail, we can hearthe echo ofour own body, as if we were deaf toour own nature?
The earth does not belong to man
But man belongs to earth
Everything is connected like the blood
that unites us all…
Man did not weavetheweb of life
Man is a merestrandof it
Whathe does tothe web,
He does it tohimself (inspired in the Seatlle Chief)
An anthropologistproposed agame to the childrenofan African tribe. He placed abasket fullof fruitsnear a tree,and toldthe childrenthat the one who came firstwould winall the fruits. Whenhe gave the signalforthem to run, all childrenheld handsandran together, and then theysat down to enjoythe prize. When he asked them why theyhad runlike that, if only onecould winall the fruits, they answered UBUNTU>
How could one of usbehappy ifeveryone else issad? UBUNTUin the XHOSAculturemeans>Iam because we are.
The heart is theorgan thatthinks more than the brain. I think you cannot doa projectin which theheart is not involved;one must follow the intuition andthe dream in ordertobuild something.
I know that when something dies, itwill never be reborn in the same way.
But ifwe do not keepin our memorythat it wasonce an actof nobility, ofdreams, of compassion, we willloseour own humanity.Back