As talked about in the last assignment, Western culture has an ideology of ownership over flora and fauna. In today’s society, we live in a world powered by revenue, there is a clear existence of greed and corruption and it often passes by unnoticed. As a result, we have been left with a warmer planet, hundreds of extinct species and a huge rise in CO² emissions. It’s easy to get caught up in routine, distractions and the busyness of day-to-day life, forgetting about what’s happening in the world around us. Today’s population has a huge attachment to technology. The average individual spending at least 2 hours on online (this statistic only including Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat) per day (Adweek.com). I recently found new sources of visual activism where artist merged technological ideas and art to create pieces that refer to both environmental issues and our addiction to technology.
Out of all the examples, I found I related to these two series the most. Both examples relate to the younger generation with direct links to gaming and Apple computers, giving them a sense of normality. Their simplicity gives them a strong message; to quote one of the designs – this is no longer a game. These designs also have the viewer involved in the images. For example on the first series, you could click save. As a small critique, I think this could be strengthened by changing don’t save to ignore. However, by adding the two button selection it puts the viewer in a position to make that decision. Mirzoeff states “Visual activism is the interaction of pixels and actions to make change” (Mirzoeff, 297). These designs are trying to engage the reader to make a change themselves. Nedelev’s designs do this elegantly by highlighting the “it’s not me” inside the sentence “it’s not a game anymore”. I plan on developing a similar subtle symbolism in my creative work.
To consider another perspective, there are also huge benefits to the technology of the 21st century. There are several devices, mobile apps and technological advancements that are helping get the world back on track. In this era, its become less unusual and costly to switch to eco-friendly alternatives. When looking into clean energy, the latest gadgets are vital for success, “Some of the biggest challenges for clean energy are storage and transmission of the energy once it’s captured. That’s where tech comes in to help build a smarter energy grid, which can have nearly as big of an impact on the use of renewable energy sources as new breakthroughs in science” (Tech Republic.com).
Overall, there is no easy solution to climate change or extinction but without improvement, we’re looking at a rather apocalyptic world. With both the negative and positive influences of the 21st century, we need to remember to look at how we can individually strive for change, “It is not a short-term project but one that involves considering how we live our lives as a whole” (Mirzoeff, 293).
Works Cited List:
Cohen, David. “How Much Time Will the Average Person Spend on Social Media During Their Life?”. Ad Week, 12th March 2017, http://www.adweek.com/digital/mediakix-time-spent-social-media-infographic
Gilpin, Lyndsey. “10 Ways Technology is Fighting Climate Change”. Tech Republic, 6th of August 2014, http://www.techrepublic.com/article/10-ways-technology-is-fighting-climate-change/
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “How to See the World”. Pelican Books, 2015