Wednesday 1st March
Guest speaker: Dr Conohar Scott
Abstract: Framing Dissensus: the Projects of Environmental Resistance
Using Jacques Rancière’s description of art as a profoundly dissensual medium, which exhibits a ‘singular power of presence […] that tears experience from ordinariness’, I argue for the potential for art to alter the social imaginary in the struggle for environmental remediation. By way of comparison to the work of Richard Misrach and Andreas Müller-Pohle, I would like to focus primarily on the projects of the artist-led group Environmental Resistance (I am a founding member of this group), which is a UK collective currently comprised of a photographer, an environmental scientist and a graphic designer.
Environmental Resistance aims to provide a “service” for environmental advocates by combining an indexical description of the polluted topography with quantitative data affirming the existence of a substantive environmental threat. This is done by creating multimodal artworks, which merge photography with graphical content in the form of infographs, QR codes linking to scientific publications, or activist video footage. In other examples, the photograph is combined with mineral sampling data taken from within the frame of the image. In collaboration with activists or the environmental science community, the resulting artworks can then be disseminated to politicians, scientists, health professionals, civil servants and local citizens, in a bid to constitute a newly emergent public, cognizant of the threat offered by industrial polluters.
Dr Conohar Scott (b. Belfast, 1975) is a lecturer in photographic theory and a practicing artist at the School of Media & Film, University of Lincoln. Conohar’s research interests include exploring the representation of environmental despoliation in photography and the application of art as a tool for environmental advocacy. As part of his artistic practice, Conohar founded the collective Environmental Resistance, which is currently comprised of an environmental scientist, a photographer and a graphic designer. The purpose of the collective is to raise awareness of industrial pollution and campaign for environmental remediation. Conohar also organises symposia under the banner ‘Network Ecologies: Exploring Relations Between Environmental Art, Science & Activism’.
For further information please contact Diane Charlesworth, Senior Lecturer in Film, Television and Cultural Studies, University of Lincoln.