The Scarcity Project

In The Scarcity Project. I was looking at the emotional experience of scarcity - the feeling that is prevalent in North America that we don“t ever have enough power, cake, oil, things, time, knowledge, toys, money, meaning & more - even as many of us live amidst abundance. This fear of Not Enough becomes a default setting which shapes our thinking, our actions and our values. It is the source of much pain. Our consumer society feeds this notion of lack and leaves many of us spiritually bereft.

As I began to explore this notion of scarcity, I was intrigued to come across a different take on the same idea. Tibetan Buddhism“s Wheel of Life embraces a circle of six emotional realms where we dwell within particular versions of reality. The 5th realm is called the hungry ghosts. The hungry ghosts are creatures who can never get enough food, wealth, power or things into their tiny mouths to feed their huge bellies. They live perpetually in a state of impoverishment. Some Buddhist teachers use this image as an analogy for many in the West who are endlessly hungry for new spiritual, intellectual, sensual and emotional experience.

The project was to make a series of digital images which express this notion of scarcity. The heart of the project was a compassionate view of Not Enough, not the irony of perceived scarcity in the midst of abundance. I was looking for expressionistic, visual language to communicate the desperate feeling of Not Enough. The process of finding that language was the journey of the project.