In 2000 Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen popularized the term "Anthropocene" to describe a completely new geologic epoch in which Earth has been profoundly changed by human activity. This body of work is one artist’s response to questions of what it means to be human in relation to the rest of nature.
The work attempts to present a paradox in contemporary life: How do we enjoy the beauty in nature while confronting its possible demise? Can our feeling about what is beautiful be affected, or even destroyed, by disturbing ideas— even if physical beauty remains? The work asks us to choose— between the pleasant, even sublime, experience of immersive nature and the anxiety introduced when we face the consequences of human activity. It asks us to choose between apathy and engagement.
The work will be exhibited in a solo show at Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay, Oregon July 17 - October 2, 2021. To see all the images and read Pepper Trail's accompanying poetry, please visit the exhibit website: