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The Generosity of the Ocean

The Generosity of the Ocean (Patagonia, 2014) by Perdita Phillips

Text written for the 2014 City of Joondalup Community Invitational Art Award catalogue.

The Generosity of the Ocean

Up until recently the world was big enough to swallow anything. It was OK to throw your rubbish over the side, safe in the knowledge that your problems would not return; that the Ocean was generous in what it could absorb. But these days washed up on the shore, along with the discarded plastics, are whole shoals of assumptions about how we might live. Rainfall in the southwest of Western Australia has already declined by 10% since the 1970s. The Government of Kiribati is buying land in Fiji. Hyperconsumption smothers feelings and exponentializes wastes: we are environmental procrastinators. But if provisionality is the underlying condition of the world, we may not need to wait for conditions to change. And if it is possible to think ahead, it might be possible to ‘make’ ahead. This is what I am working on in my studio.