Becoming ecological

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Date
2022-05
Authors
Chiavetta, Christopher
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Walton, Barbara
Lilligren, Ingrid
Valentine, Olivia
Thompson, Michael
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Art and Visual Cultures
Abstract
To be ecological is to be connected—to ourselves, to others, and to the environment. In an era of ecological threat, these connections are increasingly uncertain. How long can we hold on? There is the threat of losing the connection to ourselves in social media or other distractions in order to avoid the uncomfortable truths of a planetary crisis. There is the threat of social cohesions disintegrating under the intensification of political and economic divides. There is the threat that the very foundation under our feet, the soil, is wearing away under our current agricultural practices. In these times, finding healthy and sustainable ways to live and grow is an imperative across disciplines. This paper and resulting exhibition are the result of three years of investigating how I connect to our world. During this time, I have tried to sustain my wellbeing while cultivating a connection to my surroundings via an aesthetic practice. Such work necessarily navigates the tension between the desire for direct contact and the limitations of phenomenal experience. In response, both my research and my aesthetic methodology are informed by critical theories in recent speculative philosophy and integral thought.
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