Tuesday, May 05, 2009

423. Beginning of a Lengthy Poem/ Song: "The Tragedy of Nature Inside a Box" (Vision for a Cyclical Music Video)

Caption for Slide Show: Tragedy of Nature Inside the Box, Absurd Nature
I have decided to start an image collection of the "Absurd Nature" or nature that is unexpected, particularly with the themes of (1) manufacturing nature, as in natural history museums (2) conservation as consumption, selling nature for a human career or profession and (3) flash-freezing and manicuring nature, or humans attempting to control nature or impose a vision of what nature is trying to be, for example, "What kind of Garden of Eden do you want for the Santa Cruz island?" or "What kind of Japanese Garden do you want for the ocean?" or even the National Park System itself. All images will feed toward the pre-meditated music video entired "The Tragedy of Nature Inside a Box."

The Tragedy of Nature Inside a Box (Absurdity)

The tragedy of nature inside a box. [absurdity]
I need infinite space, an unconstrained plot [other wording for this!]
An escape route was a change of scenery,
But my dreams flew with my cash
And nature's sold back to me.
And a box within a box--
Just--simply ain't free.


I had a very encompassing, entrenching sequence of images pass through my head during the second day of the COMPASS science communications workshop. Particularly when marine biologist / science communicator Elizabeth Neeley gave us a tour of her very-cool pet pea project on saving deep-sea corals "Too Precious to Wear" (http://www.tooprecioustowear.org/), and how this campaign penetrated into the elitist fashion industry of New York. My brain couldn't stop cranking on working on this song... and this plot line for a music video.... It started coming full circle... and in a full, cross-generational cycle!

Basically, the film / music video sequence started with a redwood tree or a pristine plot of ocean (and I'll just assume for now it's the redwood tree, because I have thought about the redwood tree frame of reference for quite a while).
**Camera focuses on a pristine redwood tree, zooming out, then a scientist comes into the picture
**the scientist and the artist takes multi-dimensional samples, and creates multi-dimensional artistic representations of the tree [unfinished: classification of environmental scientists map, all types of data is collected on a flipping salt marsh]
**zooming out, the scientist leaves these ropes that protect the tree (she/he has a badge that allows her/him to cross the rope boundary), then the scientists steps to the car and it turns out the tree is not only surrounded by ropes/fences, but it is completely surrounded by encroached parking lot
[[**if I were working with the ocean situation, it would be 3 square miles surrounded by an arbitrary fence (fish in a box, fishermen in a box, scientists can go in and monitor, underwater Yosemite, how come it costs so much money to leave a plot of land alone), and the fishermen were placed in a box, placed in chains, that law places chains, ropes around these supposedly infinite, unbounded regions, same with the Sarengetti, it's tragic]]
[[**and just with the ballona wetlands, the tree is surrounded by lots of NGO noises, hoo-haas, save the redwood tree from logging, save the fishes, save the birds, etcetera, picket signs all around the flipping redwood tree, and just like La Bufadora, a parade of local mom and pop shops making and selling hand made trinkets of redwood trees on a one-mile parade to the dxmn redwood tree]] (localized representation)
**the scientist goes back to the university and (1) publishes a paper (2) surrounded by media sharks and gets interviewed 5000 times (3) gets publicized by several media sources (4) the scientist has sketch drawings / photography which is sent to his/her agent, which is then transformed into (a) coffee table books (b) post cards (c) plastic figurines (d) stuffed animal redwood trees (e) redwood trees on t-shirts and stickers and pins and high-end dresswear
**the designs were shipped to China to be mass produced in a massive factory setting, all representations of this one tree, where they harvest resources from all over the world in order to make these representations of redwood trees (or fish, whatever) (global representation)
**then the redwood tree representations were redistributed back to America and Europe and Australia (which was considered worldwide) all of this one dxmn redwood tree or plot of land or ocean that was being protected (essentially mass-produced plastificated "nature")
**then there was a little boy or girl who went with his or her quasi obese mom or dad in the grocery store surrounded by plastic and food-like substances; they live in a city, and mom and dad earn a good living working for some corporations; and for some reason, though the kid had all these toys and their parents could by all these toys, then for some reason this kid has an arbitrary fixation on this plastic redwood tree in a Walmart store of sorts and that he begged for this tree and held on to it
**finally it was time for the family to go on a "cocoon vacation" because their parents were fed up of work; and they went on a fancy coccooned "land cruise" and were shuttled everywhere they wanted to go; the little kid (now with dulled stimulation from the plastic figurine), still clutched his toy through this cocoon vacation in hope that one day he will see the redwood tree
**the family went all over the American west and this kid was posed "standardized" distant photographs of the same kid in different backdrops, the kid looked rather apathetic while his mom made him pose in front of these places; the family looked distanced, withdrawan, distraught when going through their whirlwind tour; the kid and the family was in a cocoon box vacation and then they created these artificial boxes with photography
**and then finally, the family and the tour headed toward the famous redwood tree, and the kid became excited again, similar to the beginning of the music video, from zoomed out to zooming in, the kid marched through all the clutter surrounding this redwood tree, the locals selling crxp at their stands, the hordes of tourists, the pissed off loggers (fishermen and DFG and coast guard if fish), the NGOs and their picket signs, and the massive parking lot, then down to the rope and the fence
**then the little kid went up and stared up and up and up and up into the great big branches of the redwood tree, clinging to his toy, and the rope, and was just stupified, and then the boy saw that same scientist/artist in the beginning, and the boy was extremely jealous; he climbed over the fence and tugged on the scientist's t-shirt who was collecting data and drawing sketches, the boy showed the scientist his little toy redwood tree and then he streched his neck up way way far up and asked: "Is this that?" "Yes, indeed!" perked the scientist. And the researcher clutched the boy's arm and guided his hand to touch the tree... and it seemed that all the chaos and clutter and media and government and NGOs and facade representations of the redwood tree dropped out of the boy's memory like flies sprayed with windex
**it was the first time in the boy's life his droning apathy was transformed into inspiration
**the boy corresponded with the scientist for years to come and one day that boy became the same scientist and artists, and though he was sad all he wanted to do was to study this beautiful redwood tree, he had to play the game and mass produced the representations of it to the rest of the entirety of this society just to save it and leave it alone... SADLY...
**and that is the catch 22, the paradox, the oxymoron, the irony, the tragedy of nature inside the box

**they irony is you have to mass produce the representation of the real thing just to protect it and leave it alone; the irony is that it costs so much money just to leave a piece of land alone... and that in the end, there is no more infinity, no more Wildwest, no more vast, unspoiled land, but everyone ends up being stuffed in a box, humans, trees, and fishes included....

**a major point about open space is providing open space, infinity... but now... we're all in a box.
**the largest catastrophe of today is the SCALE OF OPERATIONS OF THIS SOCIETY. Because of it's relative size, I am placed in a position to mass produce representations of the things I love just to keep the things I love alive, and I can continue researching them....


Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Essentially I have to act like some kind of clown with a mass-scale circus act, just to be able to protect/conserve the systems that keep me alive and sane in the first place... *sigh.* I think this is also an issue raised with "The Tragedy of Celebrity," a five-page article I wrote and submitted to the New Yorker and recieved a nice compliment from one of the editors, without a publication... *sigh.*

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

I just talked with my father and he said that the word "plastificate" or "plastification" of nature and/or the environment works really well in his books. Great!

I also told him that the tragedy of nature inside a box is a catch 22: the illusion of "nature" is infinite--vast extents of space of unspoiled lands--but the reality is that in order to conserve your system of study you have to put it in the box and put all the potential users of that space in a box (e.g. fishermen, loggers) to prevent them from using it, and then you have to mass produce your conserved box representationally (information-wise and plastification-wise) just to educate and inform the world your plot of land is being conserved; besides education, it provides revenue and income; and the tragedy of mass producing your system of study is that the use of materials (plastification) is perpetuating diseconomies of scale and is hurting everyone and everything else due to the wastefulness of mass producing nature. *Sigh*

Victoria "Stokastika" said...
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Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Some additional thougnts on "Tragedy of Nature Inside a Box." (1) I have noticed that there is conflict of interest of different agencies in terms of land use. Certain moneys for a past lawsuit were used to restore recreational fishing, and now certain groups want to close down this area as an MPA... which is crazy!" (2) The other parts about human management "manicuring nature" of nature is the notion of "freezing nature." I told Ernesto Franco that we are treating these protected areas as "living museums." Ernesto Franco commented that indeed they are living, and they are not that easy to maintain as if you are putting a piece of art behind a picture frame. Organisms and environments change, but the question is, how would they change without humans? In a certain way, as soon as you put "nature in a box" in a preserve, you the human have boxed your pet pea species and environment behind a picture frame, and that action right there makes the whole place/environment/organism as an "unnatural construct."

Hence the poem lines...

Failures of the Living Museum
(Sketch Poem)

I placed my pet pea species
in-a fancy picture frame.
Tried-to flash-freeze my nature:
Manicured Museum's Tame.

It still did its own thingabling--
I thought it'd never do--
Struggling to its own rhythmic change
and lose its vibrant hue.

Oh that Fuzzy Pookee Poo--
My Coat muffled your sound!
I tried to help my very best,
But slipped Nature's confound
[But-the Beast lost nature's ground]
(confound? bewilder? baffle?)

With beastly me
by its side.

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Cronon writes about this poem "Getting Back to the Wrong Nature" unconstrained plot can re replaced "uncivilized" plot.

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Failures of the Living Museum
(Sketch Poem, Update with Bird Refugia)

I placed my pet pea species
in-a fancy picture frame,
flash-freezing fav's of nature:
museums' manicured game.

Still doing its own thingabling--
I thought it would never do--
Struggling to its rhythmic change,
losing its vibrant hue.

Oh Fuzzy Bird, Pookee Poo--
My coatings muffled your sound!
I tried to help my very best,
But the beast lost nature's ground.

With beastly me
by its side.