The Capitalist system can be likened to cancer; its ideal economy grows indefinitely, heedless of the body it inhabits.1 I am interested in Late Stage Capitalism.
Speculative fiction has proposed for us a number of worst-case scenarios, ranging from dystopian futures to the outright extinction of humanity. It is easy to disregard fiction as “just fiction,” however, we live in a world where there is clear evidence of such cautionary tales.
The capitalist necessity for constant economic growth has led to rampant ecological destruction, wide-scale automation, commodification of basic necessities, and massive income disparity.2 We are rapidly moving toward a future in which the whole of human ingenuity and productivity benefits the consumption habits of a relatively few. Simultaneously, the human population is approaching the planet’s ability to support them.3
The points of intersection of any number of these issues should be extremely alarming. However, we seem unable to shake our consumption habits as a species. Our addiction to the philosophy of Capitalism has created a scenario that is nearly impossible to redress. Will we make things better, or simply make more waste? This painting series explores these ideas as well as my interest in what comes next.
1Abbey, Edward. “The Second Rape of the West.” The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West. 1997: 183.
2Pfeffer, Fabian T., Robert F. Schoeni, Arthur Kennickell, and Patricia Andreski. 2016. “Measuring Wealth and Wealth Inequality: Comparing Two U.S. Surveys.”Journal of Economic & Social Measurement41 (2): 104.
3Gretchen C. Daily, and Paul R. Ehrlich. 1992. “Population, Sustainability, and Earth’s Carrying Capacity.” BioScience, no. 10: 762.