Saturday, November 14, 2009

Discovering the North American Afterculture: An Anthropology of the Future

Via reader cduhamel:

Hi-tension Kiva

Discovering the North American Afterculture is a glimpse of a future being shaped, and even lived, right now.

It imagines the culture that might emerge if we fully embraced a completely sustainable, sacred world-outlook. A diorama, crafted artifacts, paintings and photomurals show a New Native American people whose life-patterns are healing to a damaged land. They look like us: a mixture of races and backgrounds, and there are hints that much of the knowledge gathered in our time remains alive in oral tradition. But they are also profoundly unlike us. They know themselves as part of the web of life. Seeing the natural world as an expression of the sacred, they have simplified their lives the better to move in balance with it. …

This is not your usual end-of-the-century jitters. Future Shock has unnerved the planet. The great tectonic plates of civilization are adrift now, and the widening fault lines can be seen on the evening news every night. The Old Order still rumbles down the track, but it’s a train out of fuel. Staying the course now only guarantees disaster, because up ahead the bridge is out: Capitalism has mutated into vast, uncontrollable multinationals, while Big Science diverts our attention from its disasters with illusions of cool breakthrough-fixes just-around-the-corner. And a young, aggressive techno-elite is fastforwarding us into an information/genetic revolution which will have absolutely apocalyptic consequences if played out. …

Discovering the North American Afterculture

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