Friday January 28 2011
Within the solititude of nature, disappearing seems an obvious act. Nature will only disappear if we don’t have places where those natural interactions can develop and grow. Nature is everything not made by modern man. The word nature is derived from the Latin word natura. Many authors use nature to create images in the reader’s head. And that is true for photographic images, as well. If we look back on the history of science (understood in the modern sense as the disciplined study of nature), what we call science to a way of thinking originated in ancient Greece in the sixth and seventh centuries B.C. Modern science did not begin until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Looking at the fish species in regards to disappearing, Catfish, despite being colour blind, blend or disappear into their backgrounds. Humans also attempt to disappear into the background, as they travel through untamed wooded areas attempting to get in tune with nature, as Peter Darling points out in his article “To Disappear Into The Woods.” The key thing about nature is there are places where species are interacting in an ecosystem that was not mostly engineered by humans as these are the “wild places.” There is a new paradigm for nature, especially the wilderness aspect of nature, and the climate on which nature depends, is a moving target. For example, the American Museum of Natural History recently had a symposium determining there is the liklihood that animal diseases will cross the species barrier and begin infecting humans faster than ever in recorded history. And, the Journal of Conservation Biology stated one-quarter of the world’s plant and vertebrate animal species could be extinct by 2,050. This would be a huge biodiversity loss is these plants and vertebrate animals would disappear from nature. A book entitled “Not So Silent Spring” by Dawn Stover gives vivid examples of blackbirds, orioles and other birds being affected by acoustic loud noises from humans, and therefore have changed their songbird patterns, .Some bird change the song, others remain silent during the day, when they would normally sing, and, now only sing during nighttime, This behavioural change shows bird adaptations to disappear into Nature.
Lauren Nurse, a Visual Artist is very insightful..He speaks of a Victorian greenhouse and how the architectural environment shaped many of the theories he has formed about the way people think about nature, or more specifically, their ideas of how nature should behave and appear. The relationship between greenhouses and the incarnation of human desire has more to do with alterity, than it does with similarity. In this separation there exists a connection – nature is subsumed and contained, a representation emptied of its actual meaning – A SHADOW OF WILDNESS. Plants inside the greenhouse exists in the murky twilight of a space that distil them into shadows. These shadows are a disguise that allows them to disappear, to be absorbed into the space that encapsulates them, which is at once an architectural construction and a cultural creation. “Disappear Here” in reference to this space, and the simultaneous adsorption (disappearance) and reinterpretation of the natural form that occurs within this space.
Moki is a German photorealism painter, who also does comics and animations. How to disappear is a constant concern in artist Moki’s work. Moki’s photorealism paintings find inspiration in comic book themes and natural and human mysteries. Her images feature lonely northern landscapes, a sub- arctic frozen lake continent, untouched caves and moss meadows, and mountains sculptured into anatomical shapes by wind and water. Animals and humans emerge and dissolve, or disappear into their environments The question remains – How to disappear completely, is it possible to slip the net of today’s surveillance society ? This question can be answered by the fact wherever you look around in nature you find things often straightened out. In Discover Wildlife an interesting essay is entitled ‘Phantom.’ The scene is a city park with many old trees. The author tells us he notices a Beech Tree with feathers on the ground. These feathers catch your eye because some are still stirring in the faintest breeze. They are not wet and stuck to the grass. Fresh ! There is a trail of feathers, and he notices the feathers as some are still airborne. The source of the feathers as he looks up an Oak Tree is a hooded crow. The beautifully feathered Canadian Blue Jay is a relative of the crow. He looks up, and ten feet above his head is the crow in the grip of a juvenile female goshawk. Disappear into Nature ? Yes, even in our electronically-minded, noisy environment, it is still possible to disappear into nature at Conservation Areas, Waterfalls, trails in woods, untamed areas as in Northern Ontario as nature is a shadow of wildness. Our role as environmentalist is to volunteer our services to assist ecological groups attempting to diminish biodiversity loss, so nature itself will not disappear for future generations.
Source: American Museum of Natural History, Journal of Conservation Biology, Not So Silent Spring, Discovery Wildlife, Moki, Lauren Nurse.
Doug Worrall Photography