Engagement Project

 

https://ds.lclark.edu/envs295/artistic-perceptions-of-rats/

Our project was created to explore the boundaries, or lack thereof, of art and the environment. My partners and I all have a passion for art, especially that of a collaborative nature.

The focus for the project was…*drum roll please… rats! Rats are rodents and act as a focal point that allows us to hone in on exactly how scholarship helps us understand certain presentations of rats on a deeper level.

My group is investigated how personal, cultural and institutional contexts influence one’s perception of a subject and how these perceptions determine the way we interact with these subjects. Our scholarship addressed the pitfalls of approaching a subject with a purist perspective, for no one thing exists in singular reality, untouched by others. Through the scholarship of hybridity we hope to articulate the injustice that is done when a subject is thought about through merely one lens.

Thinking about the hybridity of a particular topic in terms of the actors associated with it, while mapping them out allows us to conceptualize the multitude of political and social institutions that act to influence the spaces, identities and symbols that one subject embodies. Actor Network Theory can help us visualize the entangled and compounding actors that influence a particular subject.

This project involves two workshops that start with an exhibit of student-made art, which reflects their perception of rats.  This followed with a discussion of the art, and a concept mapping workshop that explores Actor Network Theory to give fellow students a new tool for organizing/making sense of their thoughts, rather than trying to change their mind. This tool can be used on many other subjects of inquiry.