by Victoria “Stokastika”
I was referred to this website by a fellow graduate student at UC Santa Barbara. I wanted to state that the first time I really started to conceptually and experientially grasp the notion of “nature” was when I chose to abandon the word all together (and “culture,” both on the cus word list, with all the other f* and s* and b* words out there), since there is so much baggage and vagueness in the term (see Kate Soper’s book written in 1995, see William Cronon’s chapter ‘The Trouble With Wilderness’ in Uncommon Grounds). For example, is “nature” referring to all things that are not made or touched by humans, or is “nature” inclusive of human nature, not only the landscapes that humans have generated (cities, grocery stores) and modified and bounded (national parks) but also the “inner” human nature, which is often studied by those sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists and and the like.
I disagree with the thesis of this project such that there is a “loss” of “nature” and loss of the “language” of nature. If one has a more inclusive world view of “nature,” then loss of a language of nature would mean that humans have no longer an ability to speak or write or share ideas all together, which is certainly not the case. As a matter of fact, I’m interacting with “nature” right now, whether I like it or not, whether I’m conscious of it or not. I think that we are all doing it at all points in space and time.
As explored in the attached cartoon, the landscapes that we live in have been greatly modified over the last ten thousand years, and instead of using vague words such as nature and culture, I suggest that we try to find more spatially-temporally bounded, discrete terms in order to better and truly comprehend how our inner and outer environments have changed, how our inner and outer selves have changed.
Posted: Monday, June 7th, 2010