As I perused the posters and listened to student’s discuss their ideas, I was intrigued by the creativity in a handful of the presentations. For example, I found the idea of using stadium’s as representative of the “slash” in human/nature incredibly interesting. To be honest, I have been in very little stadiums in my life, but I like that this student used a structure he claimed “he knew a lot about and was interested in.” In his poster, the student discussed how although stadiums may typically be viewed as testaments to the strength and magnitude of the human race, nature does in fact overpower them at times. I thought his pictures demonstrated a good balance of the power of stadiums while also reminding his audience of the overriding strength of nature. In this way, it was easy for me to understand his perspective. When I think about what we have learned about the Anthropocene in this class, I have to wonder, however, if this is truly a balance. Nature may overpower the stadium, which certainly represents the ultimate strength of it over humans, but the stadiums are still imposing themselves in natural spaces. Humans colonized the land, claiming it to be our own based on the mere assumption of “superiority.” Although, he does address this in his poster. According to him, humans may have occupied the space, but the forces of nature make it clear that this occupation is not permanent. Rather, human superiority may be a fragile idea; nature can still take away all we have built in one fatal blow.
On a different note, Rachel Bird’s extra long poster on “Cave Paintings to Instagram: Art as a Mediator Between Humans and the Environment” was another favorite of mine. Of course, both her piece and the stadium piece discuss the relevancy of man’s creations in relation to nature, but Rachel’s poster takes a different, more art specific path. Along the colorful and creative timeline Rachel created are the various interminglings of human art and nature since the beginning of human life. I found her accounts of this unique relationship to be one of the best representations of human slash nature. I believe it shows somewhat of a symbiotic relationship between the two forces. Just as nature works to mold our man-made landscapes into works of human perceived art, we use the natural world to express human sentiments. It is a dynamic relationship, as this timeline demonstrates. Like anything, it has evolved with culture. From cave paintings to Instagram, the ways human’s have interacted with nature has changed like the tides. I can’t help but wonder if it has changed for the better. Are we moving away from true connection with nature? Of course, this is a common worry for most; it highlights the technological shifts and its implications on human existence. While one poster argues that even with all our technological advancement, we are still heavily reliant on nature. But I believe there is a clear difference between reliance and connection. I do not simply want to rely on my fellow humans; I want to connect with them. In the same respect, I do not want to simply rely on natural resources for our existence (especially since most of the time it is unsustainable). I want to connect with nature because, as Rachel’s artistic timeline highlights, it is necessary for human expression.