The Last Humans
Alienation in the Anthropocene

Michael Whelan

We have fundamentally altered the earth’s ecosystem through disrupting the natural rhythm of our planet. In doing so humans have created a new chapter in the evolution of Earth and a new stage of uncertainty for our own species known as the Anthropocene Epoch. During this process, our species has become more distant from the essence of what it means to be human and we continue to develop out of synchronicity with how we should live individually, collectively and as a species. As we enter a new geological era, bringing with it greater uncertainties and extremities, it is becoming more and more obvious that society is incapable of self regulation. While the planet becomes even more human dominated and more vulnerable, we continue to exploit its valuable resources and having profound and influential impacts on the place we call home.

 

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Previous geological epochs have been caused by natural disasters such as shifting tectonic plates, meteorite strikes and volcanic eruptions, however, for the the first time in the planets evolutionary process, Earth is entering into a new and potentially irreversible state caused by human actions. The conflicts between the capitalist system and the wellbeing of the planet can in many ways be likened to our inner conflict, as human behavior does not lend itself to intrinsically look for faults within the self. When we first catch a glimpse of a mistake, we have a tendency to initially seek blame in others, while frantically looking for excuses to transfer faults, and turn a blind eye to our own actions. In doing so, this causes us to become so alienated that common sense can appear as modern conflict.

 

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

The scale of global trading has reached such unprecedented volume. As we continue to manufacture and consume with little or no consideration towards the condition of the laborer, it is not uncommon for objects produced to be unaffordable for the laborer involved, similar to the way our subconsciousness is mined to make us feel inferior and insecure about our inadequacies to manipulate our spending habits.

As the results of our achievements continue to diminish the planet’s resources and it struggles to survive under the presence of humanity, what can be done to realign the disconnection in our civilization so humans can flourish in the age of the Anthropocene? The identity of the landscape is projected onto our DNA. If we continue to rely on the technology that drives us towards feeling disconnected and isolated from our species and surroundings, the cause will continue to have many physical and psychological health issues on our species and will affect perception, emotional behavior and memory.

 

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

There needs to be global economic reform, producing innovative and relevant technology, immediate policy changes, and a psychological shift by collectively working on actions that helps to sustain a healthy planet and society. On a daily basis we are seeing an increase in alienation as a direct impact of the hostile environment we have created, in doing so we have become disconnected from the planet. This manifestation of loneliness can be seen at every level of our societal structure, including invisible marketing strategies, rebellious behavior, criminal activity, disenfranchisement and feeling of worthlessness. If we truly believe that our currant model of global capitalism works, then why does it continue to cause so much destruction in its growth?

 

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan

Reciprocity is the basic currency of humanity, and without it, it is impossible for authentic compassion and empathy to develop within our species. We have reached a pivotal age of the Anthropocene where individuals must now take control and make fundamental lifestyle adjustments. We must work collectively to develop a progressive vision that influences policymakers to rediscover an equilibrium with the environment we share. By investing in resources to find the root of our challenges, the process and result will initially cause pain, however the longer term benefits will have a profound positive impact on society and penultimately create a healthier and sustainable ecology.

Werner Büttner / 1981–1988
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Beginning in the late 1970s, Werner Büttner became known for his distinctive painterly approach, cultivated at the time under...
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We are rounding out our fifth year with nearly 3 million visits strong. A very exciting journey it has...
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Beginning in the late 1970s, Werner Büttner became known for his distinctive painterly approach, cultivated at the time under...
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As life was turning constantly during this past year, one of the things that constantly kept me looking, hoping...
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ARTPIL / Prescription .130
The Summer's End
Pack up the beach bags and the picnic baskets. Count the votes. Back to school, return to work, live the new normal.
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Jul 29 – Oct 30, 2022
Dalton Paula works in painting, drawing, video, performance and sculpture around Afro-Brazilian histories and experiences. This exhibition focus in...
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Futurities, Uncertain / 2022 Cornell Biennial
Jul 13 – Dec 18, 2022
Inviting celebratory imaginations and enactments, the 2022 Cornell Biennial performs an artistic call and response to counter singular utopic...
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Bernd & Hilla Becher changed the course of late 20th century photography. Working as a couple, they focused on...
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Our 5th Year Anniversary
ARTPIL / Prescription .129
We are rounding out our fifth year with nearly 3 million visits strong. A very exciting journey it has been, indeed.
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Deana Lawson
Various / 2022–2023
This exhibition is the first museum survey dedicated to the work of Lawson, a singular voice in photography today...
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