Gregory Cartelli Class of 2012

The Present Danger Is Ended traces the emotional and physical landscape of the early 21st century wherein the fears of the post 9/11 world have coalesced into an idle hyperawareness. There is a stillness and malaise in the United States that hearkens back to the paranoia of the cold war era. An enclavic attitude persists from when suburbs were designed to be self-sufficient fortress communities and highways were built to allow for the influx of military troops into cities, as well as the exodus of their inhabitants. This hyperawareness is embodied in technological advances that only serve to remove us from the present day. The images in this project emerge from the junction of paranoia, futurism, and preservation.

We are swathing ourselves in protective material designed to keep out what we have brought into being. Niche businesses manufacture clothing designed to ward away wi-fi and cell phone radiation from our bodies. We have begun to manufacture our worlds, to keep them hermetically sealed from the dangers outside their perimeters.

This aspect of our world conjures up an Eden, but one of mediocrity - of stasis. There is neither fall nor temptation here, only rigor and maintenance. This vision brings to mind past utopic attempts, each with its own plan for the future. The Biosphere, Sealand, Arcosanti, old bunkers and discontented citizens forming fictional states and micro nations, exemplify the idea of world building. It is a type of freedom, an escape, but it is delimiting to suddenly become so small.

Because we are attempting to commit ourselves to memory while projecting ourselves into the future, we end up stranded in-between the two, waiting for the next threat to emerge.

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