(Dis)Connected by Nicolo Sertorio
I grew up mostly in post-war Europe, when the economy was growing and the outlook to the future was bright. Globalization was going to bring the world together, plastics made everyday objects available at lower costs, international expansion and growth were the keywords. I moved to the US partly riding on this wave of abundance. Then slowly the hidden costs started to reveal themselves, in the forms now all too familiar: economic disparity, environmental pollution, abuse of natural resources, new diseases, global warming, loss of identity. Before we knew it, we were the generation having to pay for the sins of our parents. No matter where I turned, the guilt was there: for the food I ate (environmental and health damages of red meats, dangerous chemicals in everyday food, saturated fats, etc), the clothes I wore (third-world worker slavery, cancer causing materials, environmental pollution, etc), the job I had (large corporation avoiding taxes and civic responsibilities, exporting production for cheap foreign labor, selling illegal items under disguised names or entities, a focus on selfishness and profit, etc). I found myself wondering what it meant to live an honest life. I dropped out of my path, went living abroad, witnessed the environmental degradation everywhere I went. I started to realize that I was witnessing over and over a loss of identity, that people stopped caring for the world around them as they felt they no longer belonged there. The game was rigged and most no longer had a chance, so why care?
This series is thus based on the idea that the current sense of disenfranchisement derives from the fundamental disconnect we have from the natural world and the social isolation that comes with it. In turn, the perception of the natural environment as something external drives our uses and abuses of resources.
Nicolo Sertorio lives and works in Oakland, California.
To view more of Nicolo's work, please visit his website.