For every mile I have ever flown
Kellys Garden Curated Projects
A performance-based installation around a handcrafted shrine. Referencing the iconography and ritual of religion the performance and shrine will create a metaphorical and literal platform to connect with the quandaries of contemporary living. The shrine is in no way intended to promote existing religions, but rather to investigate the idea of a carbon-based religion. We are a carbon-based life form and the consequence of our existence, in any manner, produces carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming. Rather than trying to neutralise our carbon footprint, this work acknowledges our footprint and responds, by gesture, in a manner that attests to our humanity.
We are in a state. A state of being like never before. The Anthropocene. The geological age where humankind is the most significant agent of change. Change on a global scale. We have taken from the earth that which cannot be replaced. Not in millions of years. Coal. Oil. Gas. Organic matter laid down upon the earth and buried eons ago. And now all but gone. 1000 barrels of oil per second. Our current global consumption. If only we were consuming at this rate because we had no other choice for survival. But no. We waste. We support inefficiency. The global oil industry is subsidised $10 million every minute. But even when we attain efficiency we squander it needlessly.
Economist William Stanley Jevons in his 1865 book, The Coal Question, predicted that when technological progress increases the efficiency with which a resource is used (thereby reducing the amount necessary for any one use), the rate of consumption of that resource rises because of increasing demand. Technological advancements has made air travel increasingly efficient, and often more efficient than other forms of transport. But we simply fly more and more and more and more and more. For my grandparents, travelling to the other side of the world was a once in a lifetime experience. For many of that generation it simply never happened. The opening of borders around the world and the proliferation of events have us clambering onto flights at any given opportunity. After all it’s so cheap. Isn’t it? This is the dilemma. It’s cheaper for me to fly to Melbourne than it is to take my car across the Spirit of Tasmania. And why would I want to take my car when Melbourne has such a great public transport system? It’s complex.
There are no silver bullets or bullet trains or shiny machines that will save us.