Wrapping up Goal 2 for my Capstone Proposals

I have had a few weeks to work on the goals I set for myself, and at this point I feel I have successfully addressed both of them.  I would say both of my goals are ongoing though, and even though I’ve worked on both, they are goals I should continue working on until the end of the semester and over the summer.  For my first goal I made a google doc consolidating all the resources related to my concentration that I’ve found since ENVS 220, and this is certainly a document I should continue adding to as new resources and information come up.  For my second goal I decided to formulate some research questions I could use for my senior capstone proposals.  I have done this, but still want to continue tweaking these questions, as nothing is set in stone yet.


Along the lines of my concentration, all of my capstone research questions I’ve brainstormed so far relate to land art.  The three I’ve decided to use so far for my proposals are “Is Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty environmental,” “do Earthworks cause a significant amount of quantifiable ecological and environmental damage,” and “how has the practice of aquatic eco art developed.”  My first question feels very strong.  It is specific and answerable.  My second question I believe needs a bit more work, as this is a difficult question to answer and quantify, and I am still thinking about how I can further develop this question to strengthen it.  For my third question, I think it is specific and answerable in the context of the proposal, but I’m not sure if this is the question I’m most interested in investigating in terms of aquatic eco art.  I have a strong interest in freshwater ecology and functional art, and know I want to write a proposal related to these topics and how they intersect, but I still have not entirely figured out what specifically I most want to ask about this topic.  It is definitely interesting to explore how many environmental artists have started to work more functionally in the past few decades, especially considering environmental art really kicked off with the 60’s and 70’s movement of Earthworks, which were primarily only concerned with the aesthetics of the landscape, and not even related to environmental activism, but I think I want to get a little more in depth.  There’s a lot of directions I could take with aquatic eco art, and I want to find the topic within this field that excites me the most.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jessica Kleiss says:

    Sofia – Interesting questions, indeed! Here are some thoughts. In the question “Is Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty environmental?” The term “environmental” is loaded! What in the world does that mean!? You could spend the whole thesis trying to untangle what is meant by that word, by whom, in what context.

    I agree that “how has the practice of aquatic eco art developed?” is a specific and answerable question. But I’d also argue that it is already known. You pursuing that research question doesn’t seem to have a lot of potential for increasing the realm of knowledge, which is what we shoot for – we want your research question positioned on the periphery of the known and the unknown, so you can find it out!

    It seems to me that going back to the underlying premises of some of these art movements might prove fruitful. To try to give you an example – Does making a landscape more aesthetic change the function, as well as the form, of that land? For example: if I paint a lovely mural on my building, does that change the future trajectory of that building (getting razed for future construction / getting sold / turning into a different building type, etc.)

    Looking forward to seeing where you go with this!


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