Connections are everywhere and it is always interesting to see how different societies interact with space and the environment.
When it comes to the environment there are multiple ways we can approach it, for example through environmental ethics, personal experience, posthumanist engagements, ecoart, biological or earth sciences. The Art & Science Research Group decided to see what happens when some of these perspectives come together. The about section on their website delineates that it is a “new initiative that aims at establishing a fruitful relationship between the Academy of Art and Design and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen, to further the research, dialogue and communication on Climate Change”. After they reached out to the University of Bristol’s Environmental Humanities research group, I felt it would be nice to keep the connection going by featuring their blog here. Hopefully, this provides another perspective for you, dear reader, on what connections to nature look like in different spaces.
Their blog has a spectacular array of engagements with the natural world. One of my favourites is “How does a plant view the world?” by Ådne Sandvik Dyrnesli which outlines some of the more scientific dynamics of how plants are impacted by human actions.
If, like me, you’re captivated by what people choose to focus on in their art, you may appreciate another piece by Ådne Sandvik Dyrnesli called “Looking at people looking at plants”. I was intrigued by the artistic (photographic) choices here. Although it features similar scientific information in the piece, intimate details accent the story. For instance, “during the summer months, they [the researchers] sit on their knees, counting the plants.” These photographs draw into the place being written about so we can imagine the sensations of sitting amongst that same nature and what it would be like to count the plants. However, we are not taken there through the photographs in colour, but in black and white. To me this made me wonder more deeply – how do colours render our experiences of nature?
If you feel the need to quell any worries you have or to understand what people mean when they talk about ‘eco-anxiety’, you can find your fix through Ariadna Rodriguez’s piece, The eco anxiety. Don’t worry, the piece doesn’t spiral you into a fear of environmental doom. Alongside an explanation of the phenomenon it provides some action points that allow us all to manage a sense of eco-anxiety we may experience in our lives.
Whether you are more swayed by science, delve deep into art theory, or find yourself walking the line of both, there will be a piece that you find interesting here.
Take a look at their blog here: https://www.art-science-research-group.online/ and keep wondering.