As human population, and all that it encompasses, continues to expand and integrate new societies onto the Earth, change to our ecological spaces is quite inevitable. There is much evidence and research showing the negative impacts – should our species continue to partake in actions that potentially harm our environments, biomes, and other naturally occurring ecological systems – that have and will affect our planet. However, there are also alternatives that can be taken to ensure an equilibrium between our own survival as a species and the world in which we live in – yet not everyone is willing to contribute to such practices or perhaps are even knowledgeable of the steps that can be taken to protect and minimalize the damage that our everyday lifestyles may commit.
Stephen Wilson does a fantastic job at introducing the different ways people may approach this situation: “some propose scientific solutions; others propose political actions. Some artists propose the arts as the place to integrate science and action, and undertake project sin which scientific research is part of the art” (Wilson, 146). In this way, he is referencing that many artists act as a medium connecting the scientific world with elements of politics. Through this, artists can often create spaces or designs that help to educate and make known the ecological conditions of our world to the general public in order to make a statement or perhaps even convince societies to contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. By providing opportunities for awareness, artists are able to bring people together to search for new solutions by integrating both science, art, and public opinion.
One such artist that I have discovered is Nicole Dextras, who has designed what she has deemed “The Mobile Garden Dress”. Dextras works “with natural materials because nature has much to teach us about the effect of cyclical growth and regeneration in our environment. All of [her] artwork is ephemeral; after a while it disintegrates and then it leaves no trace”. “The dress is designed to be a self-sustaining garden and portable shelter, complete with pots of edible plants and a hoop skirt that converts into a tent at night. The entire garment is 100% compostable and recyclable”. Dextras, as an artist, is able to create a design that helps to challenge the mindset that “assumes the natural world is either a resource for us to exploit of a recreational playground for our amusement”.
Through designs and works, such as the Mobile Garden Dress created by Dextras, “artists can shape a new aesthetic that combines a visual sense of place, a willingness to ‘sculpt’ living matter, an engagement in public life, and an eagerness to invent new syntheses of science, action, and art” (Wilson, 130).
~ Amber Tang 🙂