For the second year in a row, I attended Earth Jam on the Mary Lyon Green at Plymouth State. One thing that’s really drawn me to going was seeing the live music that’s played there. Of course, there are many other things that occur during this event, such as stands run by students in the art department, who sell their artwork. This included tie-dye shirts, handbags and print art. Other stands included food and drinks. An aspect that really sticks out at this event is the way many of the attending people dress: they show a strong illustration of hippie culture.
Looking at the numerous materials that are used to put on such an event, I thought it would be great to relate it to eco-theory. In particular, Timothy Morton’s concept of nature being a possession by humans crosses my mind when thinking about Earth Jam. In Morton’s The Ecological Thought, he says that humanity’s concept of nature has been altered in a way that we view it as a possession rather than an environment; a possession that motivates us to exploit the earth because we see our planet as a sustainable resource. “Our concepts of “faceless generous mother nature” are based on “sedentary agricultural societies with their idea of “possession”” (Morton 7).
With this in mind, I would like to relate back to the events that happened at Earth Jam this year. The idea behind this gathering was to promote the health of the environment and depict our impact on the earth by thinking of it in totality. Morton says that seeing our impact in totality shows us “the big picture” of what our existence does to the rest of the world. “Facing our impact is one of the profound tasks to which the ecological thought summoning us” (Morton 5).
Thinking of the earth in totality and our impact on it, this brings me to raise Morton’s concept of the mesh. The concept of the mesh is that everything in the world is interconnected. By everything, Morton means everything. “Nothing exists by itself, and so nothing is fully “itself”” (Morton 15). This means that our existence as human beings and our encounter with all other beings in the world has an effect. We impact them with our existence and encounters, and they impact us back.
When we look at the event of Earth Jam in the context of the mesh, we see that it had significant impacts on other beings around us. While the idea of the event was to promote the health of the earth and environment, it produced a fair amount of garbage and other non-biodegradable objects into the environment, from the trash produced from attendees, to the objects that were produced by people working at the stands. Many of the materials used to create the items for sale could be harmful to other beings in the environment if they’re non-biodegradable, thus having an impact back on us in some way because of the mesh.
The resources used to put on such an event end up hurting the very purpose of it. This event is an expression of the human mindset that the environment is a possession used for resources. The concept of the mesh brings these impacts to the environment right back to us in some strange and mysterious way, and it will take us thinking in totality: seeing the big picture, to really change things.