Mountain Thunderstorm is an audiovisual artwork by Terry Flaxton and Shawn Bell, released as part of the Anthropocene collection.
Weather has always been a feature of the earths coming into being and will also be part of its destruction – so it was present as the earth formed between 4.5 and 4 billion years ago and this work celebrates the life of the earth before creatures appeared.
Anthropocene is a new 5 part work which is a collaboration between Terry Flaxton and Composer Shawn Bell (Montreal). Anthropocene is concerned with the world before humans inhabited it and after humans have left the face of the earth. This work speaks about the human species via our absence and raises questions about our presence. Carl Jung once expressed the idea whilst on a safari to the Rift Valley in Africa and watching a million creatures going about their business of living, surviving and dying, that without him, the conscious observer, the scene would still continue - yet, by witnessing it as a conscious sentient creature he himself, as an ambassador of the universe itself, gave the scene meaning and significance and therefore, he concluded, where the gaze of a sentient but self-conscious creature alights, meaning is imbued. Of course this does not in itself create an order of value for various creatures - but it does speak about the special responsibility the self conscious creature has.
The earth was born 14.5 billion years after the birth of the universe and it will die some 21 billion years after that date. In creating Anthropocene Flaxton and Bell are trying to create a vision of a world where no sentient consciousness has yet seen it, nor in the case of Consumed by the Sun, after we have left it - yet it has been imagined - and that implies that the creative artwork itself is replete with meaning and significance as it is created by sentient creatures trying to witness a reality that must have actually existed.