“. . . a call of passion to not only re-think our current environmental conundrum, but to re-feel it.” - Zach Holz
“Black Lantern Synergy and the Cartesian Eco-FemDarkanism movement is a new way to look at the world: [hu]man as nature. For too long we as humans have separated ourselves from the cosmos, rather than being part of it. Black Lantern Synergy, through their brilliant use of photography, film, and sound displays, take the viewer through a transcending experience only to emerge on the flip-side of current philosophical thinking.”
Matt Teismann, BArch
“I attended your lecture/performance last night at the AIA space in Kansas City and I just wanted to say thank you, again. I was moved and inspired and have been needing that jolt for some time now. My career is in the environmental field, and some days it just seems like I’m pushing a boulder up a never ending mountain slope. I was so pleased that the crowd was so diverse, and you really were reaching a new audience with your words and art. On our way home, the friends I attended with were all gushing. We agreed that we would really like to read your original dissertation from which this all stemmed.”
Environmental Scientist by Day
Urban Farmer by Night
“A big thank you to Black Lantern Synergy and to all of you who supported their program. It was a big success and very well received by our K-State community. This was a very special and note worthy program. It provided an outstanding eye-opening opportunity for students to reconnect with nature and even our planet. I was very impressed and personally moved with the quality and substance of the program.
It was one of the best environmental programs I have seen on the K-State campus in over the past 10 years.”
Faculty Representative, Students for Environmental Action
Kansas State University Dept. of Communications
“I can’t thank you enough for relating the personal journeys I KNOW it takes to go through so that each one of you could create this kind of work. The world needs it now more than ever, a quiet so loud that it shakes the very marrow of our bones to awaken the coalescing heartbeat of millions of people to the mystery and necessary awe and fear of that which is so much greater than us, and to display a renewed reverence and gratitude for being blessed with the senses to experience it.
My favorite parallel to my work was humility – my students are required to journal to teach them the importance of working through problems and solutions. The word humility is written on the first page of their journal, with radical on the back, from the Latin radix (to have roots). Your focus on humility helps to mediate between the human tendency toward anger and hubris. I couldn’t wait to express my excitement and thanks for a truly great experience last night.”
M Dane Zahorsky
Movement of the Unified Voice
“I appreciate the thorough argument BLS made regarding our current cultural disconnect to our ancient roots, and it is there, in the darkness of rooted soil, in the darkness of a lecture hall, that those connections were made. As Troy said during the lecture, ‘Men die, grass dies; therefore, men are grass.’ I have had the thought and I have felt the thought before, but they succeeded in putting into words a feeling that stands up well to philosophical debate. I believe that the unique synergy of philosophic argument and aesthetic excellence can make anyone ponder their relationship to nature. In the search for truth, what is a more compelling argument than beauty? For me, the result is a foundationally solid perspective about the way I choose to operate in this world.”
“I loved Black Lantern’s show on Monday night. It was better than I thought it was going to be, and the effect that it had on me was larger than I had expected. I really connected with the part that focused on the disaster that compound 1080 caused: the imagery of the coyote and the green fire in his eyes coupled with the quote from Aldo Leopold was intense. Also Karen Warren’s thoughts and the discussion of the four-legged animal and its sacrifice were moving. After talking with my friends who attended the show, we all agreed that those parts of the show made us realize the gravity of the impacts humans have on nature.
I really enjoyed looking at each picture and video and relating them back to experiences I have had in the woods. In the Darkanism section you incorporated pictures of your group in nature and I think that is really important. It was nice to have it at the end because after seeing these beautiful pictures of nature, it was encouraging to see actual humans connecting with nature. The show has inspired my friends to finally go camping with me this weekend!”
Environmental Law Society
Albany Law School
“It was better than Star Wars!”
Trent Lee Payne
Student of French and English
“The show really impressed me. I’ve explored some deep ecology writings and anarcho-primitivst thought, but it always comes off very bleak to a new audience. Whether it’s in the insistence of its immediacy (the world has to change NOW), or utter hopelessness of the conclusions (Malthus is right, it’s all gonna be over, what matters is how we survive), both aren’t quite accessible to most people. But your presentation introduced the idea that our civilization is unsustainable in a way students can appreciate and consider without the hostile impressions they might get in a typical discussion of those ideas.
Good luck with your efforts. I wish you guys the best!”
Student New Media Specialist, Office of Web and New Media
Missouri State University
“Presenting itself as a ‘multimedia community discourse’, Cartesian Eco-FemDarkanism balks at definitive words; more than anything else, it is felt as an experience, one as transportive as memory, one that moves you as only the most heartfelt of poetry can. Imagine all the complex evocations that come with the varied forms of expression: from still or moving image, ambient or played music, spoken or written word. If there is any way to somehow conflate these forms into something that is more than the sum of its parts, Black Lantern Synergy’s work is a living testament to it.
Lyrical, expertly crafted, and poignant, Cartesian Eco-FemDarkanism rings with the sincerity of those committed to the whole of life; it is a call of passion to not only re-think our current environmental conundrum, but to re-feel it.”
Environmental Studies 2012 Degree Candidate
Lewis and Clark College
“Black Lantern Synergy give a truly captivating performance. I loved it. Common structures like law, economics and culture become prisms of reconsideration for our relationship with nature. It made me want to go outside. There were so many ideas to grab onto, and the visual representations, the music, the revelatory language – all of these in concert – were dazzling. I would see this again and again, in any space or iteration.”
Lewis and Clark Law School
“Cartesian Eco-FemDarkanism is a beautiful reminder of our ties to nature. The show made me nostalgic for my home in the lakes of Minnesota and hopeful and excited about the reconnections I see their show inspiring and the change those reconnections could inspire. I loved it!
Black Lantern Synergy did a fantastic job of engaging our students from pre-show promotion to their captivating multi-media presentation and were great to work with.
They were always available to answer any questions. Troy and Jeff also provided us with gorgeous posters and marketing materials and even helped hang posters around campus! I would highly recommend Black Lantern Synergy. Their unique presentation was a refreshing change, and our students and faculty raved about it! I’m so glad we were able to bring Cartesian Eco-FemDarkanism to our students and we hope to bring them back next year!”
2010 Co-Chair Environmental Law Caucus
Lewis and Clark Law School
“Troy Payne and Jeff Johnson’s presentation of their Cartesian Eco-FemDarkanism Project is an incredibly pertinent source of clarity and direction during a time when we are experiencing the largest shift of human consciousness in history. Never before have humans possessed the ability to shape the world as extensively as our current technology allows. Unfortunately, the misuse of this immense power has placed the survival of our species in peril. Throughout this mesmerizing rumination, Troy and Jeff dissect the heart of our problem, opening up countless pathways for us to better understand who we are and why our saving grace lies in the endless pursuit of knowledge and appreciation for nature.”
Co-Curator Sea Change Gallery
“Spending time immersed in Troy’s poetry and philosophy and photography results in profound awareness and sense of connections. Jeff’s work with music and imagery powerfully expands the beauty of the experience. I hope this program receives a wide audience.”
Professor of Law
Lewis and Clark Law School
“I came away from Troy and Jeff’s presentation awed and inspired. Their project’s thoughtful analysis makes sense of philosophy and environmentalism, while staying mindful of business, art, and the human condition. Wonderful work!”