February’s meeting was hosted by Sara Huston, partner/co-founder of the interdisciplinary avant-garde studio the Last Attempt at Greatness. For this meeting, Sara suggested several readings to inform our discussion on the subject of pessimism in a culture of hope and optimism.
We Are Doomed. Now What? by Roy Scranton
It’s the End of the World as We Know It . . . and He Feels Fine – NY Times
Uncivilization a Dark Mountain Manifesto
Pessimism: Philosophy, Ethics and Spirit by Joshua Foa Dienstag
The focus of our conversation revolved around how to reconcile, or if we can even reconcile, the challenges we face as conscious creators in a scenario that is increasingly bleak. Of central importance was the idea of how to move forward when it seems that our actions will have little consequence.
Informed by Sara’s suggested readings, we discussed how writer Paul Kingsnorth and the Dark Mountain Movement have addressed this “cultural crisis.”
“The roots of our converging global problems – peak oil, mass extinction, climate change, a cannibalistic economic model – are not technological, nor even economic, but are rooted in the stories we tell ourselves as a civilisation about who we are and where we are going. The Dark Mountain Project was set up to challenge these stories and begin to explore new ones.”
Other theorist, writers, cultural critics on these topics: Derrick Jensen, Lewis Mumford, John Zerzan