What’s Next for Earth: Resilience Online Exhibition

Michele Guieu | August 7, 2020 | Leave a Comment

Marcela Villasenor

What’s Next for Earth is a Community Art Project to reflect on the COVID19 period and re-invent the future: normal was the problem. Resilience is What's Next For Earth’s fifth project.

The inspiration for the Resilience Art Call comes from an article posted on the MAHB website: ‘Resilience, the Global Challenge and the Human Predicament’ by Michael Lerner 

[…] We face a perfect storm of environmental, social, technological, economic, geopolitical, and other global stressors. These global stressors interact in unpredictable ways. The pace of future shocks is increasing. The prospect for civilizational collapse is real. We need to build meaningful resilience. […]

Michael Lerner is president and co-founder of Commonweal, a 43-year-old nonprofit center in Bolinas, California, with programs in health and healing, education and the arts, and environment and justice. 

During the month of July 2020, artists on Instagram were invited to read Michael Lerner’s article, create an art piece, and post it on their Instagram page. A selection of the contributions was posted on What’s Next for Earth’s page. Here are some of them. 

Marcela Villasenor Contribution for Resilience Art Call
Photo Courtesy DV PHOTO © 2020

Marcela Villasenor (Ganjia, Gansu, China)
“The Weight” 2020

Sailev's Contribution for Resilience Art Call
Photo Courtesy Sailev © 2020

Sailev (Hong Kong)
Oil on canvas

Every year more than a million wildebeests take on a perilous trek from the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara in a search for water and grazing lands. It is one of the largest overland migration in the world and one of the deadliest, a cycle of self-renewal and an incredible display of resilience, Nature’s design principle.
Nature explores all possibilities for life and builds in mechanisms to ensure things survive. So much we have to learn for ourselves.

Erica contribution to Resilience Art Call
Photo Courtesy Erica Atreya © 2020

Erica Atreya (California, US)
Finding Beauty in Pain

Marianne Bickett's contribution for the art call Resilience
Photo Courtesy Marianne Bickett © 2020

Marianne Bickett (Oregon, US)
The month of July was extremely busy. Yet the call of Resilience was ever churning in my mind. In nature, resilience is everywhere. Through observation I found that resilience is not about rebounding to a previous state. When change happens, either slowly over time or suddenly, one form of being is transformed into another. What we call Haystack rock in the sea was once a part of the shore. But it was formed by change. It’s resilience is becoming something new with a new function. Ultimately we must change and adapt. The truth is clear whether we wish to accept it or not. Things are changing and our resilience is what will save us.

Photo Courtesy Lotte Van De Walle © 2020

Lotte Van De Walle (California, US)
Resilience – What do we need?
gouache on wood, 7.5 inch

CB Design Contribution to Resilience Art Call
Photo Courtesy Collections CB Design© 2020

Collections CB Design (Paris, France)
Résilience Concrète
Actual Resilience

Ivan Sigg Contribution to Resilience Art Call
Photo Courtesy Ivan Sigg © 2020

Ivan Sigg (Paris, France)
«Maki & Makiko zoo » (original puppets of these two artists of Kōbe and my digital animated paintings). Resilience = overcoming trauma. With children and artists of Kobe & with “Le petit Ney” in Paris, we decided to overcome several traumas: confinement, absence of vacations in the council houses, cancellation of the Japanese Olympics. I animated with Tagtool these drawings of Japanese children and then projected them on a building in the 18th district of Paris.
Résilience = triompher des traumatismes. Avec les enfants et les artistes de Kōbe ainsi qu’avec « Le petit Ney » à Paris, nous avons décidé de dépasser plusieurs traumatismes : le confinement, l’absence de vacances dans les cités, l’annulation des JO de Tokyo.
J’ai animé avec Tagtool ces dessins d’enfants japonais puis les ai Projetés sur une cité du 18ème arrdt de Paris

Pascal Ken Contribution for Resilience Art Call
Photo Courtesy Pascal Ken © 2020

Pascal Ken (Paris, France)
Resilience 2020
18×22 cm collage – acrylic turquoise on an old book: “Pensées” de Pascal (“Thoughts from Blaise Pascal), French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, moralist and theologian.
Resilience is a long way from home. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. 
(Chinese: 千里之行,始於足下; pinyin: Qiānlǐ zhī xíng, shǐyú zú xià; lit.: ‘A journey of a thousand Chinese miles (li) starts beneath one’s feet’)

Kristine Diekman contribution for Resilience Art Call
Photo Courtesy Kristine Diekman © 2020

Kristine Diekman (Wisconsin, US)
Listen deeply. World Listening Day. This majestic ash tree is fighting to survive the ash borer which is decimating ash trees across our country. Vanishing forests. Stand strong, old friend. We hear you. 

Deborah Alastra contribution for Resilience Art Call
Photo Courtesy Deborah Alastra © 2020

Deborah Alastra
‘Maisha’s Garden’

Cynthia Fusillo Contribution for Resilence Art Call
Photo Courtesy Cynthia Fusillo © 2020

Cynthia Fusillo (Barcelona, Spain)
Are We Disappearing – A Human Predicament?
Figure :173cm x 56cm paper, dirt, mixed media.
“We need to survive these future shocks- up to and including civilizational collapse- if we are to build a greener and more just world on the other side.”
Michael Lerner

Michele Guieu
Photo Courtesy Michele Guieu © 2020

Michele Guieu (California, US)

I believe it’s going to be difficult to change the way we live if we do not understand the Human Predicament.

[…] This human predicament goes by many names. The global challenge. The global problematique. Limits to growth. The end of the world as we know it. The prospect for civilizational collapse. All refer to the perfect storm of global biosphere and societal stressors interacting in complex and unpredictable ways.

Environmental stressors include:
– Climate change, sea-level rise, and changing weather
– Biodiversity loss at 10,000 times the normal level
– Toxification of all life, insect armageddon
– Ocean acidification, dead zones, plastics, and fish and plankton depletion
– Declining and polluted fresh water sources
– Depleted top soils
– Vanishing forests and many more
Social stressors include:
– Poverty, racism, and injustice
– Unsustainable economic growth and global debt
– Vulnerable financial systems, supply chains, and power grids
– Population overshoot, refugee migrations, and resource competition
– Uncontrolled technologies, including AI, biotech, nanotech, robotics, cyber threats
– Dysfunctional geopolitics, failing states, and outdated institutions
– War, terrorism, and nuclear threats—defense resources needed elsewhere, and more

Climate change is the greatest global stressor. But a single focus on climate change means other global stressors are underestimated. These stressors interact as force multipliers, increasing unpredictable future shocks and even potential civilizational collapse.
Most people don’t want to think about this. Yet the culture is filled with vivid imaginings of dystopias in books, films, television series, and games. Civilizational collapse lurks at the imaginal edge of collective consciousness. Yet mainstream media and “official” government institutions are largely silent.
Michael Lerner in “Resilience, the Global Challenge, and the Human Predicament”.

~Michele Guieu, Eco-Artist, MAHB Member and MAHB Arts Community coordinator~

The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.