I know it’s just that they’ve touched my inner goth, but these graveyard photographs really do express something of what I find most appealing about the idea of immanence — that death is in the midst of life, the two entwined like the dying branches encircling the face of living stone in Onkel Wart’s photograph:
or Stuck in Customs’ tree overtaking a Chinese gravestone:
or E3000’s Sub Specie Aeternitatis:
or moss covering the angelic human spirit rising above its nature-laden grave in Roberto Catalano’s The City of Falling Angels:
Materiality, cyclicality, the rising and the passing away, the return of life to earth, earth covering earth covering stone covering flesh covering memory. The best of ecological art, it seems to me, reminds us of our embeddedness within cycles of emergence, submergence, and re-emergence in new forms, all causally intertwined in dependent origination converging to and from this moment in which we act, the consequences of our acts rippling outwards through eternity. (No, neither Nietzsche nor Buddha preached a closed universe of fated predetermination, as each moment opens possibilities of new connections to be made. But for both there is an ethic of responsibility to those connections, and a solidarity underpinning them.)
Individually these photos are nothing special – we probably have dozens of our own like them in our photo albums. Their impact is more cumulative, so go to the site itself to see all forty.
Thanks to Integral Options for sharing these (and Neil Gaiman for inspiring the collection).