The DISCOVERING THE NORTH
AMERICAN AFTERCULTURE is a glimpse of a future
being shaped, and even lived, right now.
It imagines the culture that might emerge if we fully embraced
a completly sustainable, sacred world-outlook.
crafted artifacts, paintings and photomurals show a NEW
people whose life-patterns are healing
to a damaged land. They look like us: a mixture of races and backgrounds,
and there are hints that much of the knowledge gathered in our
time remains alive in oral tradition. But they are also profoundly
unlike us. They know
themselves as part of the web of life.
Seeing the natural world as an expression of the sacred, they
have simplified their lives the better to move in balance with
This is a glimpse of "a future that works:"
sustainable, simple, sacred--and
But it's not the only possible way we could live:
the Afterculture signals a return to the rich
"cultural biodiversity" that has characterized the
human species for most of its sojourn here, and the
viewer is challenged to imagine other versions,
In the time of the Afterculture, our powerful
need to dominate has finally relented, and the
homogenous, one-size-fits-all "monoculture"
is a matter of myth and legend. People have
returned to the rhythms of region and "spirit of
place." It might be said that the folk of North
America are finally becoming Native
Americans. DISCOVERING THE NORTH AMERICAN
AFTERCULTURE will be a traveling site-specific
exhibit, collaborating with local craftsmen,
storytellers and gardeners to imaginatively build a
future that reflects the environmental, cultural,
and mythic dimensions of their region. Examination
of local native
will be an important point of departure.
The Afterculture exhibit is being created as
part of the Smithsonian Institution’s visiting
artist’s program, and is scheduled, as of
11/26/00, to open Spring 2002.at the National
Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.