How is technology changing our connection to Earth and each other? What does it mean to reclaim our relationship to our senses in the digital era? In the latest digital issue of Emergence Magazine—an initiative of Kalliopeia Foundation—creatives from across the world dig into these very questions through immersive multimedia essays, inspiring short films, potent reflections, and powerful photographs. Below are a few highlights from this issue:
- In the animated essay “Corn Tastes Better on the Honor System,” writer and ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer follows the 9,000-year journey of maize, reflecting on the ancient technology embedded in our relationship with this sacred plant.
- In “Applied Alchemy,” Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder illuminates the work of Lead to Life, an organization guided by Spiritual Ecology Fellows Kyle Lemle and brontë velez that is transforming weapons of violence into tools for planting trees.
- In the video essay “Forgive Me for the Delay,” artist Alisha Anderson meditates on how screen time is stripping us of our creative energy and sensory engagement. What is lost, she asks, when we do not live “edge to edge”?
- In the essay “Magic and the Machine,” cultural ecologist David Abram reflects on our undying urge to recreate a primal experience of intimacy with the surrounding world, offering notes on technology and animism in an age of ecological wipeout.
- In “Wave Patterns,” Spiritual Ecology Fellow Aylie Baker reflects on her experiences sailing by canoe under a Micronesian Master Navigator and shows how we can draw on our innate ability to orient ourselves in a shifting world.
- James Nestor explores practices and perspectives that could return us to a deeper relationship with our senses, in “The Sight of Sound.” Inspired by an encounter with a sperm whale, Nestor’s study of echolocation is a ripe invitation to (re)discover lost senses that can tell us about our surroundings.
- In the age of the Anthropocene and entrenched politics of whiteness, writer Bayo Amokolafe brings us face-to-face with our own unresolved ancestry, in the essay “When You Meet the Monster, Anoint Its Feet.”
- In “Shimmering Sprawl,” photographer Andreas Gefeller shares Satellite-captured images of urban regions that reveal unnerving, yet captivating, expressions of unstoppable growth.
- In the poignant investigative essay “Born Was the Mountain,” Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder explores the collision of cultural values unfolding on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawai’i, the proposed site for what would be the largest telescope in the world.
In so many ways, the idea of interconnection is threaded through every contribution in this issue of Emergence. Technology might chip away at our capacity to connect, but it can’t undo the essential and immovable truth that we are Earth and Earth is us, too.
After you have taken the space to read through this issue of Emergence, ground yourself in this place-based practice from Aylie Baker, where she guides us into a deeper relationship with our inner compass. It’s a beautiful exercise and one that embodies Emergence’s desire to “reimagine technology as a tool to be employed with awareness, responsibility, and a spirit of reciprocity with the greater-than-human reality.”
We are truly excited to share this issue with you and hope you will leave a comment letting us know which videos, essays, and photographs resonated with you most.