vertical HD (1080x1920px / 9:16), colour/audio, 12’00”, 02022
“Who would’ve thought the end of the world
would look like mowed lawns,
a holiday to Greece,
or a new pair of jeans?”
NGMI is a string of tableaus, or chapters, connected by transitions with their own roles.
- NGMI: The Anthem
- Long Distance Call
- Cognitive Dissonance
- The Review
- New Mythologies
- Generational Amnesia
- Call Again
How to deal with post-pandemic sentiments in relation to the ecological and climatological crisis?
My work has revolved around apocalyptic and post-human scenarios for years: my art school graduation paper from 01998 shows signs of what is now recognized as ‘eco-anxiety’. In the context of my artistic doctoral research, I use a former forest that got destroyed by a climate change assisted bark beetle plague as a lens to look at the larger issues at hand.
Six months after the clearing of the forest and the start of my PhD in arts trajectory, a global pandemic broke out. The relation between the forest’s demise and the upheaval of a virus were abundantly clear. But where the clearcut slowly but steadily has started to heal itself after the shock of the disappearance of trees, our collective human behavior seems to have been blind for the opportunity the pandemic provided. Instead, logging, oil drilling, and overall emissions are at an all time high.
In the mean time, the effects of climate change and biodegradation are crushing all models and projections. From where I’m standing, it’s a lost cause. It will take many, many generations to regenerate what is now lost.
It seems politics, the industries, and even general public have lost the ability to imagine different futures and alternative ways of arranging a society. Imagination has long been put to work in the narrow field of optimizing production in a framework of financial efficiency, lacking long term vision.
As an artist working with eschatology for over two decades now, I’m backed up by literature in the field of evolutionary biology and related deep time studies. But equally important is the often much scorned science fiction genre.
As my colleague Kelly Richardson expresses it so eloquently: “What science fiction does brilliantly is it allows us to experience what life might be like, and so I use it to suggest potential futures should we continue down our current trajectory of planetary pillaging and consumption. It allows people to experience that future and in doing so provides a window through which they can look back on our current time, our current priorities with some measure of hindsight and clarity.”
NGMI attempts to do this from a place I call ‘The Garden of the Forking Paths’ in honor of the eponymous short story from 1941 by Jorge Luis Borges, proposing multiverse quantum leaps or hypertext links. In my case, it references a non-location, a space between spaces, a multidimensional crossroads with all options open but urgent decisions to be made.
NGMI is both the title of the solo exhibition and a 12 minute vertical HD digital film.
The abbreviation is crypto-slang for ‘not gonna make it’, and used for (possibly) bad investments. It’s the opposite of WAGMI, meaning ‘we all gonna make it’. I’ve picked up some of the jargon while pioneering in the NFT space, which put me in contact with so-called ‘crypto-twitter’. It’s fascinating to see artists and the world of (tech) investors grouped together in this space.
I’ve hijacked the term to express a loss of hope, as a warning, and as a – controversial – method for – a call to action.