I took a bold step this week. I kicked Aviva Ramahni out of my thesis. I have decided I only want to focus on aquatic eco art that are ecoventions, a term used by Spaid (2002) to refer art that has a direct ecological impact. Rahmani’s Blue Rocks may have had an impact, but it was not direct. She brought attention to the ecosystem to others rather than directly working to change it in some way.
I therefore have started to add Buster Simpson into the mix. I luckily already have notes saved on him that I used to start a paragraph describing Hudson River Purge, a performance project in which he dumped hand-made limestone tablets into the Hudson to help neutralize the pH of the polluted river. You can see what I have added so far in Fig. 1. My next step is to introduce him in my situated context, which I need to include for all of my artists. I also need to do the functional analysis of his work, and I have already found sources on methods of using limestone to mitigate the effects of pollution. I am hoping to include more than these three artists, such as Mary Mattingly, but that will depend on time and how much is needed.
Fig. 1: Added Simpson Elements
Along with adding back in Simpson, it was time to update my concept map. As shown in Fig. 2, I changed my Cmap quite a bit. Before, my map read as a basic explanation of what the art is. But that is already covered quite plainly in my thesis, and I do not feel that is the best use of concept mapping. Instead, I decided I wanted to show how the works are connected, what they are doing similarly, and what they are doing differently. This seems like a good addition to add to my situated context and offers something more substantial then a simple illustration of what the art is.
Fig. 2: Revised Concept Map
I have quite a few steps left to do before I have my first draft of my thesis which is why I have made a to do list for the next few weeks. It will probably change over time, and I have already started on some of it. For instance, I talked to the art research assistant today to start looking for information about the actual infrastructure and treatment processes of Living Water Garden and she gave me hers and the ENVS research assistants business cards so I can schedule appointments. I will reach out to both of them tonight. I have found some sources with her today, and also contacted Betsy Damon’s organization, Keepers of Water to see if I could get primary sources and information from them or Betsy Damon herself.
A lot of my steps this week come from feedback from Liz Safran and fellow students. It goes as follows:
- Set up my RSS FEED finally
- add to Jason Decaires Taylor’s section in results an aspect about coral in our changing climate
- add functional results to Buster Simpson’s section of results and index
- add functional results to Betsy Damon’s results
- add background of all artists to situated context
- enhance explanation of water and aquatic ecosystem in situated context and get rid of errors
- buff up methodology
- explain approach thoroughly
- explain choices for choosing the artists you chose
- introduce Wilson and indexing more
- discuss accessibility of the art from broader standpoint and difference between having access to this artwork in documentation and in person
- Buff up discussion
- more art analysis
- add discussion of related ideas by scholars such as Bruno Latour and Richard White
- readdress theme of aquatic art and why
- Buff up comparison
- add comparisons to green architecture/landscape architecture
- ask Liz about Miriam Greenberg passage
- relate primary artists to broader context – being them back at end
- Fix data citations at end and make sure information about the specific artists I am studying is cited properly.
- Edit Indexes
This is a lot to do in a short amount of time, but taking these steps will lead me to a much cleaner thesis and I will be much closer to a full first draft.