I chose this image because it is very overtly ideological, but also mundane enough to be overlooked. This is a picture of construction in Redmond, where I live, and it is being used to advertise the new buildings that will be coming up soon. The ideological statement supported by this image is this: nature is something to be torn down and improved or manipulated to human purposes. You can see the bare earth under the project that has been torn up without a care. This is a common sight all around, and it’s ugly to look at. The issue is that we are conditioned to look forward to a project’s end because we know the new construction will look clean and nice. We don’t think about what was there before, only what is to come because we can benefit from whatever is being installed. As consumers in a capitalist society, we use our hunger for goods to take anything we want, no matter what stands in our way. We feel invincible because nature can’t exactly stand up to us. So what if we chop down just another small lot? The world is big, and it’s ours to conquer anyway. With this ideology in our society, this image isn’t attempting to convince anyone of anything; it’s just showing an every-day scene that no one is going to question. Few will look at this and think of the trees that once stood in the dirt. No, they’ll be thinking of what is being built, and the completion of the project will be a relief to them. After all, the country is something you go out to, so what is the point in having nature in a city? When we build indiscriminately, it’s like we are saying that nature is on our land, not that we are on nature’s land, or at least sharing the land with other organisms. We delude ourselves into believing that we are all that matters in this world, and that we need nothing to support our survival beyond what we produce. This thought process emphasizes the individualistic nature of a capitalist society. Everyone is here for their own gain, according to our societal beliefs. We naively synonymize gain with growth, so this type of construction continues with little to stop it because those who gain from these projects are sure as hell not going to let anything get in the way of their profits.
Finally, I thought to choose this image also because of something my mom said not very long ago. It was along the lines of this: “One day I’m not going to want to live in Redmond anymore. Left and right, they’re putting up something new on every corner, and not just little shops, either. It’s all these huge apartment buildings that are too high and oppressing. Soon there won’t even be any trees!”
The status quo is to destroy for gain. Sounds like a plan with very little forethought to me.
This audio is “construction”… me hitting a piece of wood with a hammer in a rhythmic pattern, kind of like a clock ticking away at the dwindling time we have remaining to dig ourselves out of this mess.