Mediations of Shattered Water: Environmental Intimacy & the Dissolution of the Self
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In a time of accelerated environmental degradation, a human-centric approach to engagement has engendered a pervasive cultural passivity towards the environment. This fatalistic detachment amplified by technological advances and, in Canada, the vastness of our landscape demands that we reanimate our perception of the natural world. Environmental intimacy aims to dissolve the “I-it” relationship through an affective merging of subject and object, recognizing that just as we move through the landscape, the landscape moves through us, resulting in heightened ecological attunement. This research uses the sensing human body as the primary site of spatial perception. With a camera strapped to my body I encounter waterfalls. From these encounters, the sensations of shattered water are cultivated and reformed into cast plaster and concrete artifacts, deterritorializing the waterfalls from their physical location into affective material formations. These crafted artifacts are the distillation of my encounters with the shattering of water, extending the movement of the body through the landscape into the craft and navigation of architectural space. The process of translation created to test the potential of affective deterritorialization involves the technical mediums of photography, digital editing, computer modelling, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) routing and vacuum forming to develop the sensuous cast surfaces. These processes bring the digital image back into the material world, resulting in a new form of cast landscape detached from a geographical location while resonant with the forces moving through it. These castings are deterritorialized landscapes of sensations which engage the integral and reciprocal relationships between the body and its environment.
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Katherine Holbrook-Smith (2017). Mediations of Shattered Water: Environmental Intimacy & the Dissolution of the Self. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11865