Climate change “has not only become a piece of news, not only a story, not only a drama, but also the plot of a tragedy. And a tragedy that is so much more tragic than all the earlier plays, since it seems now very plausible that human actors may arrive too late on the stage to have any remedial role…” –Bruno Latour
How do you document a geological feeling? Nature Being Specter is a register of the psychic fractures created by unprecedented planetary unsettling, a work of mourning, and a meditation on the bewilderment of the human species.
The Anthropocene is a new geologic epoch defined by humanity’s profound reworking of the Earth’s ecological systems. Public dialogue about this time period circulates around the threats of carbon emissions, soil erosion, food insecurity, species extinction. We are filled will scientific data, policy debates, and poor prognoses. But there is more to climate change than a collection of facts.
We navigate between city and country, and we are haunted by the changes occurring biologically, the dramatic effects but also the most subtle, nearly imperceptible changes: the new parasitic insects emboldened by warmer winters, the rising sea levels evidenced by hurricanes, the disappearance of frost-lines that once heaved homes’ foundations, the drying up of wells. Rural and urban environments have been spaces of refuge and creative inspiration for us, each one a retreat from the other. But now, as we move between spaces, our experiences are interrupted by the feeling that we are accompanied by ghosts–or maybe we are the ghosts–and by momentous changes, ecological, psychic, intellectual, and cultural, that may have already taken place even if we cannot visually perceive them.