Our contemporary culture has seen an eruption of the popular (digital photography) into the arena of high art (painting)—an erosion of the older modernist distinction between high culture and so-called mass or popular culture.
Ours is a time of depthlessness in our visual global culture; an emptying out of significance; a culture consisting of a vast collection of images with a loss of history. Princess Diana, for instance, was a simulacrum of a political figure, a quintessentially postmodern individual constituted by an economy of images in the sphere of popular culture. History now becomes nostalgia, a period style or fashion, rather than an actual historical period. History has not actually been banished though, as it has become hidden away in a ‘political unconscious’ and re-emerges as the repressed.
The global forces that are causeing climate change are so enormous that they are close to ungraspable–ie beyond our grasp. So we map them in terms of bits to grasp our new being-in-the-world. That grasping is a fleeting one. The sand comes and goes. The sand at the base of the cliffs becomes ever more eroded. The tides are higher. The storms more intense. They are just bits