The Extinction of Experience: Reconnecting Humans with Nature and Art


Hatched by Shalom

Apr 21, 2024

3 min read


The Extinction of Experience: Reconnecting Humans with Nature and Art

In today's fast-paced and technology-driven world, humans are becoming increasingly disconnected from nature and the arts. This disconnection not only affects our overall well-being but also hinders our ability to appreciate and understand the world around us. In this article, we will explore the concept of the "extinction of experience" and examine how it impacts our interactions with both nature and art. We will also discuss the importance of reconnecting with these fundamental aspects of our existence and provide actionable advice to help foster a stronger bond with nature and the arts.

The "extinction of experience" was coined by Robert M Pyle in his memoir, The Thunder Tree. Pyle argued that humans are losing their connection with nature, leading to a decline in the benefits associated with such interactions. Research supports this claim, showing that individuals who do not directly interact with nature are less likely to perceive and value its advantages, and are also less motivated to visit and protect it.

Similarly, the decline in opportunities to directly experience nature is a significant driver of the loss of human-nature interactions. As shown in Figure 2a and 3a, the rate of interaction with nature has decreased over time, leading to changes in people's behavior towards nature. This decline is not limited to childhood experiences; adults also require direct interactions with nature to reinforce their orientation towards it.

Interestingly, the loss of human-nature interactions parallels the diminishing connection between humans and art. Just as humans have evolved with and been part of nature, we have also evolved to appreciate and create art. The Loomis Method of Drawing the Head, a step-by-step guide developed by GVAAT'S WORKSHOP, highlights the importance of reconnecting with the artistic side of our nature. By engaging in the process of art creation, we tap into our inherent creativity and gain a deeper understanding of the world around us.

To combat the extinction of experience and foster a stronger bond with nature and the arts, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Prioritize Direct Interactions: Make a conscious effort to spend time in nature regularly. Take walks in local parks or nature reserves, go hiking, or simply sit in your backyard and observe the natural surroundings. By immersing ourselves in nature, we can reawaken our senses and reconnect with the natural world.
  • 2. Incorporate Art into Your Daily Life: Engage in artistic activities such as drawing, painting, or even photography. The act of creating art allows us to express ourselves, explore our emotions, and gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us. Dedicate a specific time each day to engage in artistic pursuits and make it a part of your routine.
  • 3. Educate and Inspire Others: Share your experiences and knowledge about the benefits of reconnecting with nature and art with friends, family, and your community. Organize nature walks, art workshops, or collaborative art projects to encourage others to connect with their natural surroundings and unleash their creativity. By inspiring others, we create a ripple effect that can help reverse the extinction of experience.

In conclusion, the extinction of experience, characterized by the loss of human-nature interactions and the diminishing connection between humans and art, poses significant challenges to our well-being and understanding of the world. However, by prioritizing direct interactions, incorporating art into our daily lives, and educating and inspiring others, we can reverse this trend and foster a stronger bond with nature and the arts. Let us embrace the beauty of nature and unleash our creative potential to reconnect with our true selves.

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