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North American After-Culture
Life after the age of oil

The 21st century will be spiritual or will not be.
                                                         - André Malraux

I stumbled across an interesting site in the fall of 2005 and find it soothing to revisit. It contains artistic impressions of what life might be like 100 years from now when the last drop of fossil fuel is gone.

The site is called North American Afterculture: an Anthropology of the Future. Be forewarned that it has a difficult to decipher navigation system. This means that you will probably miss at least half of the site on your first visit. On the plus side, it means that return visits will be amply rewarded with the discovery of more and more pages.

Graphic from

Here's what its creator,
Michael Green, has to say about it:

"The truth is that for the first time we are bereft of a positive vision of where we are going. This is particularly evident among kids. Their future is either Road Warrior post-apocalypse, or Blade Runner mid-apocalypse. All the futuristic computer games are elaborations of these scenarios, heavy metal worlds where civilization is crumbling into something weird and violent (but more exciting than now).

The Afterculture is an attempt to transmute this folklore of the future into something deep and rich and convincingly real. If we are to pull a compelling future out of environmental theory and recycling paradigms, we are going to have to clothe the sacred in the romantic. The Afterculture is part of an ongoing work to shape a new mythology by sources as diverse as Thoreau and Conan and Dances with Wolves and Iron John. The Afterculture is not "against" the problems of our times, and it's not about "band-aid solutions" to the grim jam we find ourselves in. It's about opening up a whole new category of solutions, about finding another way of being: evolved, simpler, deeper, even more elegant. Even more cool. Even very cool."  [The italics are mine.]

This site presents a positive set of memes for what life could be like in the post-industrial future if humanity finally smartens up.

Let us know about other relevant art which should be listed here. Click to email a link.

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