Child Psychology by kelly heaton

The psychological development of a child raised by electronic devices, 2018. Watercolor on paper, 15" x 18"

The psychological development of a child raised by electronic devices, 2018.
Watercolor on paper, 15" x 18"

The children born into recent generations have an intimate relationship with machine intelligence. Technology is not a mere instrument of mankind -- it shapes our identity, and machine intelligence is influencing consciousness like never before. Computer-mitigated experience may be artificial, but it is no less "real" to the mind than natural phenomena. Computers have infiltrated the inner sanctum of human beingness. Arguably, our sanity is more vulnerable to Grid failure than our physical survival. As for whatever legacy endures beyond this fragile time in history, imagine the incredulity of future generations. Our stories will seem as far-fetched as flying saucers in the Hindu Vedas. What ordinary Earthling would believe that humans could encode intelligence on a silicon wafer the size of a flea, let alone sculpt the genome of living organisms?

What’s sad about this image is the replacement of ancient archetypes (the sun, for example) with archetypes that will not last (the light emitting diode, for example). Every generation and even civilizations are destined to die, but the archetypes have remained for thousands of years and united us with our ancestors. Our connection to this continuum of human meaning is profoundly comforting and is the basis of human identity (i.e., Joseph Campbell). When a civilization departs from natural, timeless archetypes and adopts symbols that depend upon man’s current technologies, then the loss is infinitely greater — our symbols will perish, and there will be a break in the story of human history.

open studio: love is a battlefield by kelly heaton

Love is a Battlefield, 2016.  Digital photocollage.  Kelly Heaton

Valentine's Day is coming, although I don't need a holiday to mix romance with late-Anthropocene apocalyptic visions.  In keeping with my song theme, I wonder how lovers will frolic in the acid rain under an ozone-less sky?  Sounds like a battlefield to me.

open studio: catching UV rays by kelly heaton

Catching UV Rays in at Tired Beach, Colorado (2016).  Digital photo collage.  Kelly Heaton

Technically, we can't see UV... but if we could, it would look something like extremely rich purple.  The good news about big holes in the ozone layer is that we will have plenty of opportunity to train (more likely evolve) our eyes to see weird photons. Seeing as the oceans will rise a good amount, I figure that Colorado could have some nice beachfront property.  I hear that they have a massive dump of old tires in Colorado, a "tire graveyard" as they morbidly call it.  Tires are very slow to decompose and are not prone to erosion like soil or sand.  What a great place to relax in the late Anthropocene!

open studio: pretty bad by kelly heaton

Pretty Bad, 2016.  Digital photo collage (sketch).  Kelly Heaton

I'm old enough to remember when water was free.  Bottled water started appearing in the late 1970s as a gourmet fad (think Evian and Perrier).  I thought it was a ridiculous luxury product, even more absurd when they started to bottle plain water.  Tap water is safe and free.  I get why people drink bottled water in countries where sanitation is a concern, but here in the USA? Wikipedia says "The U.S. is the largest consumer market for bottled water in the world, followed by Mexico, China, and Brazil.  In 2008, U.S. bottled water sales topped 8.6 billion US gallons (33,000,000 m3) for 28.9% of the U.S. liquid beverage market, exceeding sales of all other beverages except carbonated soft drinks, they are followed by fruit juices, and sports drinks.  Americans drink 21 US gallons (79 L) of bottled water per capita per year."  Forget the waste of money, it's just plain bad behavior.  


open studio: climate turner by kelly heaton

Climate Turner, 2016.  Digital photocollage (sketch) using trash, smog, wires, electronic components and the composition of J. W. Turner's painting "Peace - Burial at Sea," from 1842.