Rooted in the artistic and scholarly work of Joshua Levi Ian and Kathryn Ian, the New Wilderness Gospel is an open-ended experimental narrative project that combines text, sound, video, and performance to re-envision the genre of apocalyptic literature in a contemporary idiom.
"Apocalypse" is commonly employed as a synonym for catastrophe. But this casual metaphorization covers over a much richer range of signification. Used technically, apocalypse—from the Greek apokatalypsis ("a revealing")—refers to a genre of writing with roots in antiquity. The historical literature of apocalypticism offers a vast reservoir of imaginative responses to moments of crisis, dislocation, and turmoil; many apocalyptic works appeal to modes of knowledge and practices of meaning-making that resist rationalization: dreams, visions, affective intuition, and concourse with otherworldly beings.
Some apocalypses envision the historical end of the world; others are works of radical cosmology—acts of remapping the given world by way of a new imaginary. "New Wilderness Gospel" is a meditation on what shapes wild presence might take within a cultural imaginary premised on absence. It is a quintessentially American Apocalypse.