2.13.2008

Introductions...


As I became invisible, I began to see things that had once been invisible to me - graphite & iridescent ink on gray paper - Jenny Kendler - 2007


As with any good story, I suppose a blog should begin at the beginning. In this spirit, and in the spirit of introducing myself --- the first artist I'll feature here briefly, is, well, me. I'll post more of my work later, and continue to do so as new projects get finished. My website has a more complete index at jennykendler.com

To also briefly introduce my motives for beginning this blog, I'll start by saying that I believe that we live in a time of crisis. Now, not to be so self important, I actually think that many peoples of many times have believed this same thing, and they have probably been correct. We humans have a way of creating problems for ourselves.

But our crisis is a special one. Never before have human beings held in their hands the potential to save or destroy every living being on this planet. Even the very features of this world which we take for granted as inevitable and unstoppable (forces of nature, I believe we term them), ocean currents, weather patterns, ecosystems, climates and landmasses, hang in the balance. If we cannot learn to live sustainably in the little petri dish of a closed-system which is our world --- we are in for some serious surprises. The jet stream may stop as Greenland and the Arctic melt sending Europe into an ice age, weather patterns may change and become violent and unpredictable, ecosystems may collapse, climates permanently alter, and our islands and coastlines may vanish under rising seas.

Not to even mention the possible extinction of over half of the world's species, including the already threatened Polar Bear, Emperor Penguin and charming flower-gathering Pika. Anyone who has ever encountered these creatures will know that a world without them would be muy triste.

Ah yes, doom and gloom...but also hope (the word of the day, apparently). Human beings have never before had the power to bring so much positive change to bear for future generations either. Two faces to every Janus.

As an artist and an environmentalist, I thought I could use this as a forum, not only to speak on the issues surrounding this crisis, but to look backwards, but mostly forwards, at the many hopeful visions and desperate warnings issued by the creative minds of our world.

There is more and more art being made about the aforementioned issues lately. More artists exploring the boundary between nature and culture. More artists asking why we have placed ourselves, as a species, outside of the natural world. More artists fascinated by the animal kingdom and ecosystems. More artists asking difficult questions about how we may solve our problems and reach solutions equitable for all beings, human and animal (and plant & fungi!).

I speculate that the reasons behind this building wave are manifold, but come mainly from the sense that this is what's "in the air," that these subjects are suddenly seeming very urgently interesting. This is the important issue of our time.

I hope to go into all of this is greater detail over the course of my postings --- and I'd love to hear your input, of course, if you'd like to post as well.

Welcome to Wunderkammer.