As a scientist, I've learned there is no mandate or means within the sciences to address what has really brought us to the climate crisis. Without an effable experience of continuity between what’s personal and natural, we will fail to respond appropriately to any of the maladies that define the Anthropocene. Real ecological restoration will require healing our deep cognitive schism. We need a new kind of ameliorative art that can change the climate of our minds.
-- Rich Blundell
Some of us have felt an eternal moment, when self dissolves and the expansive unity of reality can be held. It usually happens for me in nature. But sometimes unexpectedly, under the spell of certain music, or in the comfortable company of an old friend. This feeling of being one with the whole of Nature I call Oika.
Thankfully, the full-force feeling of Oika is ephemeral. After all, who could operate on a daily basis with an amorphous ego? But a subtle memory persists to shape the rest of life. What’s left is a reminder of a beautiful, real continuity between self and other. This experience is a tell-tale facet of ecological intelligence. It arises from a relational, mysterious, liminal space.
I believe artists have special access and skills for reaching this space. Throughout history it’s been called the muse, the mystery, the logos.
Oika Arts acknowledges that there is an obligate art movement embedded within the philosophy of ecological intelligence.
The Anthropocene is a mirror reflecting a flawed way of thinking that separates humans and culture from nature. We have created this existential malaise by failing to express, in a compelling and attractive way, the beautiful and fundamental truth of our natural belonging. In other words, our alienation is a failure of art.
But the mirror also reveals a last sliver of opportunity. Hidden within the toxic consequences of vapid culture are glimpses that can inspire a new, transcendent category of artistic response. Oika is committed to the redemptive function of art. The fate of humanity and art are one, and the future of art is both beautiful and ecological. Or there isn’t one.
OikaArts is a civilizational redesign project arising through the confluence of science, art, nature and culture. As science reveals the intelligence of nature, art must guide the creation of a new, ecologically intelligent culture.
A call for art to change the climate of our minds
Marine ecosystems do not stop at the water’s edge. There are ancient patterns of interdependence that connect the land to the sea. Clouds carry the lifeblood of the oceans over mountains to replenish aquifers. Nutrients flow from landscape to farm, through rivers and swamps, and back again to the bodies of creatures who inhabit the sea.
Humans have always participated in this prosperous cycle of life, experiencing it as the background generosity of nature. Such distributed reciprocity is the nature of nature. It’s felt in our deepest intuitions of love but now also weeps through the wounds of the world we have created.
Oika extends the idea of ecological interconnectedness beyond the metaphor of nature and into realms of culture, art, and human imagination. Ecological unity, continuity and reciprocity are the nature of reality. Returning the human psyche to flourish within this reality requires an epiphany of ecological intelligence.
Oika Arts is an initiative to realign culture and nature. Our time is critical. Into the Artmosphere is Oika’s plea for all artists to elicit the ecological epiphany!
Oika Arts is the most important art movement yet to happen. It is a call for artists to get educated in ecological intelligence and bring their immense energies and creative powers to bear on the crisis of discontent that is driving contemporary, crap culture.
Oika Arts is an opportunity for artist and nature to infuse and restore their original, organic alliance.
Our time is existential. In the Anthropocene, all that humanity has accomplished, and all that we value and care about is at stake. This ecological crisis is unlike any before because it is planetary in scale and embeds deep, psychic resistance. We're all responsible for this mess but some of us have still have a capacity to do something about it.
Do something about it.
Oika Arts aims to restore ecological intelligence in culture directly through the work of artists. The initial version of the program is for radical thinkers willing to apply their talents, energies and vision to nature-culture realignment.
Ecological intelligence will expand, refine and enhance your work and empower you to better communicate to your audience.
The seed of this project is a traveling lecture series that convenes small groups of place-based artists from diverse genres. Through an invite-only, salon-style format, we engage in deep, exploratory conversations around the principles and practices of Oika. These informal gatherings give inspired artists an opportunity to further participate by designing individual and community programs.
Oika is accessible because it is phenomenological -- a felt experience. Oika makes ecological intelligence intimate, personal, powerful and live-able. We also use the scientific story of the universe, and human imagination, to access the core experiences of unity, continuity and reciprocity.
This process of Cosmosis is unique to Oika Arts.
This grant-funded, educational program aims to reach artists where they are, while art is happening. So all Oika Arts projects are designed to effortlessly integrate with ongoing. arts programs and residencies.
If you want your art to matter, and know other artists like you, who want to improve life on earth, reach out through the contact form below.
Oika is a brand of art that offers artists and art buyers an opportunity to actively participate in the ecological healing of the planet and continued prosperity of society.
Oika elevates the value of art by aligning it with the power and abundance of nature. Our artists are in deep communion with nature and manifest ecological intelligence in their creations. This alliance between nature and artist asserts a moral, ecological imperative to Oikan art because it amplifies critical ecological healing through culture.
Oikan art is more than art because it denotes an existential prerogative. This presents art buyers a choice, convert some of their wealth into a beautiful future, or perish along with all of us. If the planetary ecosystem fails, civilization fails. When this happens, wealth becomes worthless. Now is the last chance for the affluent to activate the survival of self and civilization and preserve our quality of life. All of us are all in.
Art designated “Oika” carries with it powerful social and ecological action. Oika art is extremely precious because it is the only art that preserves the value of money. Those with wealth, who want to keep it, understand how tenuous money is. Buying Oika art now is more than a donation or gesture of generosity, it is critical intensive care for all life on earth. Those who buy Oika art, genuinely support art that heals the planet and preserves our common prosperity. Without this, we all perish. This is what Oika means by the future is beautiful, or there isn’t one.
As a member of the Society for Ecological Restoration, Oika Arts connects local artists with ongoing ecological restoration projects to tell and celebrate scientific success stories. We also launch initiatives in communities with ecological degradation problems in order to inspire new restoration projects. In both cases, the collaboration of artists and scientists provides an optimistic vision for the future and can stimulate new creative economies as integral parts of local ecosystems.
Our goal is to stimulate new creative economies based on ecological principles that realign local culture with local nature.