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Oceanic Literacy in Contemporary Art: Communal Effort, Scientific Knowledge and Poetic Intervention

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Oceanic Literacy in Contemporary Art: Communal Effort, Scientific Knowledge and Poetic Intervention

Lalonde, Chanelle (2018) Oceanic Literacy in Contemporary Art: Communal Effort, Scientific Knowledge and Poetic Intervention. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

As the global population faces unprecedented accelerated environmental devastation, the future becomes increasingly unpredictable, and consequently difficult to visualize. This thesis thus considers how visual artists working in the twenty-first century are producing works that address the environment-in-crisis by proposing alternative paths, and potentially offering clearer and more hopeful visions of the future. While it alludes to several relevant artworks, it focuses on two creative responses to threatened bodies of water: Basia Irland’s Ice Receding/Books Reseeding (2007-) and Pam Longobardi’s Drifters Project (2006-). Through an examination of the conditions of visuality and the inter- or transdisciplinary nature of contemporary ecological art practices, this thesis first contextualizes Irland and Longobardi’s practices. It also provides new interpretations of their work by theoretically engaging with posthumanism. Interweaving William Cronon and Elizabeth Grosz’s accounts of posthumanism, and the writings of Indigenous scholars, namely Daniel Wildcat, Kim Tallbear, Vanessa Watts and Zoe Todd, this thesis considers visual art’s capacity to literally and conceptually intercept environmental destruction and climate change. In their attempts to recognize nonhuman agency, both Irland and Longobardi employ anthropomorphic aesthetics that are highlighted in this thesis. Finally, I contend that their most effective and innovative aesthetic strategies for dealing with environmental destruction are found in their roles as listeners.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Lalonde, Chanelle
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:1 April 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hammond, Cynthia
ID Code:983665
Deposited By: Chanelle Lalonde
Deposited On:11 Jun 2018 01:08
Last Modified:11 Jun 2018 01:08
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