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Pilgrimage: being in the end times Open Access
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Kyle Terrence Appelt
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Pilgrimage: being in the End Times
“The gap between phenomenon and thing yawns open, disturbing my sense of presence of being in the world” –Timothy Morton
In 1784 a fine layer of carbon was deposited onto the Earth’s crust as a result of human coal-fired industries. Timothy Morton attributes this moment as the beginning of the Anthropocene: the moment when human history intersects with geological time. What we hear about climate change is that the best efforts we can now imagine may delay its catastrophic effects but will not prevent them.
As a person living in the beginning of the 21st century, I exist at the apex of this eschatological narrative, sandwiched tightly between the exposition of species-guilt, and the denouement of species-extinction. Despite the potentially crushing burden of living in a geological era generated by human activity, as well as standing under the teetering shadow of the impending ecological collapse, I find it impossible to panic. At times I even find it impossible to care.
Not only am I presented every day with images of the social and ecological clockwork running smoothly, but also running against the familiar background of banality.
In an attempt to overcome my phenomenological distance from the looming threat of the ecological crisis, I set out on a secular pilgrimage to create points of contact with my material world. Armed with a multitude of cameras, a vehicle, and a furry mammalian costume, I documented this Pilgrimage, contemplating both the kitsch banality and the incomprehensibility of living in ecological end-times.
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