Last weekend, I was in Zurich for a reunion of sorts, with the cohorts who had gained Ph.D's from the Zurich Node of the Planetary Collegium, initiated by Roy Ascott at Plymouth University, UK. The occasion was the presentation of Models of Diversity at the ETH, and the Zurich University of the Arts, where we had convened under the supervision of Dr. Angelika Scott, my first supervisor, and Dr. Jill Scott, my second supervisor, who started that program in 2005. It was the end of a unique integration of environmental sciences, technology and studio art.
The work of mine that was shown for the exhibition was from a 2007 group show, "Called to Action," curated by Lillian Ball. The view and details below, are from an installation visualization of trigger point theory, which became my dissertation topic (Trigger Point Theory as Aesthetic Activism). That theory inspired the www.gulftogulf.org website, and led to Blued Trees.
|Detail 2 of "Trigger Points/ Tipping Points" installation. This is a detail shot of how one coastal city could effect an impact on a wider ecosystem on land and for marine life. |
I am now into the third movement of Blued Trees. It will continue until the summer solstice anniversary of the launch of the overture. In considering the copyright aspect of the project, I am focusing now on the the implications of the term, droit morale, which literally means, moral rights. Originating in the French Revolution, the term means the spiritual value of the artwork has inalienable rights. That concept is the basis for all copyright law. The difference between approaching
Trigger Point Theory before and after the Ph.D work, is that I can now frame my questions on multiple layers, with formal parameters that are far more sophisticated, leading towards more complex questions. The original idea, was that there are small geographical points, physically located, whose restoration might effect a larger systemic healing to degraded ecosystems.
I think the same skills that might have accomplished that physical identification of trigger points, has become a model to identify more complex points of intervention, such as the legal points in Blued Trees. I can now ask, "what has happened to the moral-spiritual value of artmaking?" and it's corollary, "what relationship might there be, in the Anthropocene era, between making art, and the moral basis of justice?" Could droit morale be a key to that answer?