Art and Earth Justice: Legal Strategies to Protect Nature
Thursday, November 12
USA: 10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET
EUROPE: Scotland/Ireland/England:18:00 GMT, Belgium/Germany/Spain: 19:00 UTC
In this Zoom Dialogue we will hear from four ecoartspace members who have researched legal strategies around land use which has informed long term art projects created to protect nature. Hugh Pocock
is currently working on a project that will designate lands as "off limits" to humans, essentially a non-human park titled No Mans Land
. Eliza Evans
created a project last summer titled All the Way to Hell
in which she has distributed shares in her mineral rights in Oklahoma to monkey wrench oil and gas interests. Kim Stringfellow
has been working on a multi-year documentary titled Mojave Project
where she's exposed the land use strategies of developers and miners in the desert Southwest. And, Aviva Rahmani
whose work titled The Blued Trees Symphony includes
live trees which she has copyrighted to prevent the construction of a pipeline through her work.
These artists are a great resource for our members who are interested to do similar work. Each presenter will have 10-15 minutes and following Q&A we will open it up to participants to engage in a round table format.
Hugh Pocock was born in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and raised in the United States, England and Aotearoa. His work investigates transactions between culture and natural phenomena. Pocock has developed a park concept that is an area of land that is off limits to humans. Titled No Man's Land, it is a park for the non human where nature is its own legal entity. He’s interested in the global movement of the Rights of Nature, and how land can be recognized as having "legal personhood". The history and metaphor of the human relationship to natural resources, space, time and material culture are among the issues he investigates in his sculptures, installations and videos. Pocock is a faculty member at MICA and is the founding Coordinator of the Minor in Sustainability and Social Practice. He is the Co-Facilitator of the Global Ecologies Studio taught at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland. nonmansland.org
Eliza Evans experiments with sculpture, print, video, and textiles to identify disconnections and absurdities in social, economic, and ecological systems. The initial parameters of each work are carefully researched and then evolve as a result of interaction with people, time, and weather. Evans current work All the Way to Hell: All the Way to Hell is an activist art project for disrupting fossil fuel development on private land in the U.S. She was artist-in-residencie at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at UC Santa Barbara in 2020. Evans was born in a rustbelt steel town and raised in rural Appalachia, and currently splits her time between New York City and the Hudson Valley. She holds an MFA from SUNY Purchase College in visual art and a Ph.D. in economic sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. allthewaytohell.com
Kim Stringfellow is an artist, educator, writer and independent curator residing in Joshua Tree, California. Her work bridges cultural geography, public practice and experimental documentary into socially engaged transmedia experiences. Stringfellow explores the history of lands, often addressing environmental repercussions of human interaction and occupation. By focusing on particular communities or regions she attempts to foster a complex discussion of interrelated issues for each site while attempting to expose the cultural values and political agendas that form our connections with landspaces. Her projects combine writing, photography, audio, video, installation, mapping and community engagement. Stringfellow is a 2016 Andy Warhol for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellow and a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow in Photography. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Claremont Graduate University in 2018, and is Professor at San Diego State University’s School of Art + Design. mojaveproject.org
Aviva Rahmani’s exhibits, publishes and presents her ecological work internationally. Her project The Blued Trees Symphony (2015- present), legally challenged expanding fossil fuel infrastructures with copyrighted and sonified installations across miles of North America. The series of permanent works with trees were installed in corridors where natural gas pipelines were planned. Each tree is a "note" painted with a non-toxic casein pigment, a vertical sine wave on tree trunks. These installations were invited by private landowners protecting their forests from natural gas corporations. The work affirms an Earth rights relationship to ownership that values how trees sustain clean water, air, healthy complexity, demanding environmental justice and mitigating climate change. Rahmani is an Affiliate with the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder; gained her PhD from the University of Plymouth, UK and received her BFA and MFA at the California Institute of the Arts. ghostnets.com
Gif images (top): Aviva Rahmani, The Blued Trees Symphony (2015-present). ©Aviva Rahmani; Kim Stringfellow, Mojave Project (2004-ongoing) ©Kim Stringfellow; Hugh Pocock, No Mans Lands, (2020-); ©Hugh Pocock; Eliza Evans, All the Way to Hell: All the Way to Hell, 2020 ©Eliza Evans.