I've fallen in love with the work of E.O. Wilson. I was introduced to the phrase biophelia, which lead me to the book in which Wilson coins the term. To my surprise there were many references to the humanities, arts and it's relationship with science. I've leaned towards his books that focus on the humanities, like [Origin of Creativity], although his profession is a naturalist. Recently I started reading Half-Earth.
Half-Earth discusses the value of saving the earth by looking at ecosystems as a whole, and risking the natural environment by assuming the planet can be saved by setting a side only small swatches of land for conservation. There are many references to a ecological period that started in the Industrial Revolution. Ecological ages are time periods on earth that are marked with an extreme amount of species going extinct. The anthropocene era is an era after the 6th mass extinction that coincides with man's advancement that affects and redefines global environments. The book goes in detail of the value of biodiversity, and how understanding evolutionary branches are critical to understanding who we are as a species. Any species’ extinction is discarding vital information to how it interacts with other species, and its relationship with its environment.
There is no other time in the history of the planet in which a species on it's own affects the world as a whole. We change the environment and act as gods in where we pick and chose what other species are allowed to coexist with us. It is a future where we define the environment based on whatever knowledge we are able to collect from a quickly disappearing, seemingly endless natural tapestry. I can't help but to imagine a mini-golf course, or even a video game forest where we do our best to give the impression of nature but very much fall short of it's true beauty and complexity.
When I endeavor to build a landscape in [digital paint] I would do well to remember the complexity of the natural world. I know I won't be able to recreate it, and I'd be foolish to try. Fortunately as an artist I don't need to. But if I intent to reference it and echo it's beauty, I should remember that the complexity and mystery is it's critical to it's perceived beauty.
The Anthropocene Age may lead to a fake natural world, but that's not something I wish to represent in my work.