rinse and repeat
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rinse and repeat is a collaborative thesis exhibition of art created by my plant collaborators and I that uses the visual language of sculpture, photography, performance, audio narratives, and collaboration to question the devaluation of life within imperial-capitalist culture. I work intimately with Fungi and Moss through attempts at listenings to seek to unlearn individualism and apparati of separation. This thesis exhibition consists of both indoor and outdoor components, as collaboration with the Land is vital to redefining the personhood or beinghood of autonomous beings and the white-cube gallery is an inhospitable environment for my collaborators. Materials range from gathered wooden limbs to Soil, sawdust, plywood, copper gilding, gold gilding, and photography on paper, as well as Moss and Fungi. Each artwork has undergone a transformative process through iterative choices that lean towards interspecies collaboration and away from scientific-mechanistic indoctrination. By working alongside different Fungi and Mosses, I have come to realize that my upbringing in the imperial-capitalist system was unethical, violent, and delusional. The breadth of my research is sustained through thoughtful actions that have real life consequences, as all life is intrinsically linked and ethically bound together. The aim of this thesis is to address alienating ways of living, making, and behaving, and extending collaboration to gallery visitors through walking tours and performance. This accompanying support paper has three sections that articulate artistic methodology and theoretical contexts for the thesis artwork. The first section, “Intangible Transference: A Reevaluation of Beinghood”, is a mixture of descriptions, reflections, and conceptual underpinnings about each artwork. Forming the pieces began with simply connecting to beings in habitats, recording auditory reflections of site-specific areas, constructing, or sculpting habitats, and taking meditative walks through the in-between spaces of the urban and peri-urban landscape. This research is inclusive of experiencing and observing relationships in the more-than-human world, making vessels for collaborators, extensively reading and learning about and from Moss, Fungi, decolonization, and habitats, growing Fungi and Moss in multiple ways, and continually processing and synthesizing the many failures that come with such a non-linear practice. In this work I attempt to develop interrelation between decolonial practices, relational ways of knowing, and climate change. Through this work I seek to revaluate beinghood as an essential facet for moving through the climate crisis. Relational ways of knowing and living are intrinsic to the Indigenous Nations of the Turtle Island and the Sámi people of Sápmi. In weaving together the writings of Robin Wall Kimmerer, Leo Killsback, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Merlin Sheldrake, a comprehensive understanding of relational ways of living works towards an appreciation for the complexities of interspecies life. These connective ways of living are supported by the theoretical writings of Achille Mbembe, Kathryn Yusoff, David Graeber, and Ariella Azoulay by contemplating necropolitics, white geologics, imperial archives, and imperial taxonomy. The second section of the paper, “Methodology on the Haldimand Tract”, is an overview of the methods I applied in making the thesis artworks, and how certain choices became necessary. Lastly, in the section “Contemporary Practices as a form of Oneness,” I discuss establishing listening as a foundational practice to building interspecies bonds through the writings of Karen Barad, Jane Bennett, and Katya García-Antón and Liv Brissach. By examining the artistic works of Paula Kramer and Máret Ánne Sara, I unfold an understanding of what listening is, leading to a synthesis of how deeply embedded ritual is in art, and how art blurs the lines of living with intention.
Cite this version of the work
Stephanie Wilson (2023). rinse and repeat. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/19492