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Energy, air and climate change: a new sculptural language

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Singe, MN (2011) Energy, air and climate change: a new sculptural language. Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This project has developed a sculptural language that actively responds to and participates in the climate change debate. It employs energy and air as key materials in direct response to climate change, a discourse framed and driven by the relationship between energy use and the earth’s atmosphere. The research was motivated by a desire to develop an alternative approach to making environmentally engaged sculpture where singular strategies, such as utilising only recycled materials, have limitations in their ability to address the complex and seemingly intangible nature of climate change. While the project has historical links to environmental and land art that emerged in the 1960s, the contextual focus has been sustainable design, sculpture and installation art which strategically integrate the materials of energy and air, made since the 1980s, the period in which the world became more aware about global warming. By synthesising formal and conceptual approaches from these sources, the project has developed a multifaceted sculptural language in response to the complexity of climate change. This language has been informed by artists such as Simon Starling and Tue Greenfort who create installation-based environmental systems. The metaphorical link between global warming and human respiration emphasized by Maria Miranda and Norie Neumark in their work Talking About the Weather (2006 ongoing) has been substantially explored in this project. The research output consists primarily of sculptural objects whose form and function have been inspired by sustainable design and DIY culture. These objects require physical human input to demonstrate the mechanical dimension of their relationship to climate change. The sculptures are supplemented by video documentation that depicts their activation in order to parody emergent climate change solutions such as alternative energy generation and carbon capture and storage. My presence in these videos as a test subject or tragic anti-hero offers a blackly humorous critique of individual climate change convictions. Singular strategies for creating environmentally engaged sculpture are limited in their ability to respond to climate change. Through the strategic use of energy and air in a series of sculptural objects that incorporate elements of sustainable design and DIY culture, this research has developed a multifaceted language that actively responds to this complex environmental issue. By parodying alternative energy generation systems and highlighting a metaphorical association between global warming and human respiration, the project creates an opportunity for the viewer to reassess their climate change beliefs.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Master)
Additional Information: Copyright © the Author
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2011 23:43
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:26
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/12507
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