Joyce Yamada

My worldview is deeply anchored in science--particularly the study of life on earth, both ancient and current, and what it tells us about how our world actually works. My artwork is based upon this.

 

Cognitive neuroscience reveals some of the inherent pitfalls, weaknesses, and dangers of our understanding of ourselves and our world. We confabulate stories and myths and are easily led astray by emotion, and by an unwillingness to face hard facts. We are blind to the unexpected. Like many social animals we have a built-in sense of fairness, but our truth sensors about the outer world are very faulty; our ability to learn from past history is almost nil.

 

We are failing to integrate ourselves with Earth’s complex ecosystems, the very systems that produce the conditions that support us—our air, our food, our climate. These are not guaranteed conditions.

 

Earth has experienced multiple massive ecosystem collapses in the past. Conditions have been very different and very hostile to our sort of life multiple times, and could easily become so again. Though the meteoroid that ended the most recent geological era is the most attention-grabbing mass extinction, new research strongly suggests that some of the worst extinctions were greenhouse extinctions. In the past these were caused by geological factors. In the present, we humans through our sheer numbers and our heedlessness have become as powerful as geology, as potentially destructive as a massive meteoroid strike. We humans are powerful for both good and for evil.  

 

What is good? What is important?  What do we want to support in our brief lives on Earth? These are persistent themes in my work, expressed in both painting and in multi-media installation.

joyceyamada.com

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© Amos Eno Gallery 2019