Judy Natal Gave Some Pointers to My Students

IMG_0792Students in my Art & Environment class at LSU are getting some ideas on how to approach local communities with environmental hazards. They are tasked with creating social practice projects (and writing analyses of their own works) in Louisiana communities with toxic leaks or waste dumps. We are working with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN)!  https://leanweb.org/

Judy Natal is a Chicago-based artist and photography professor at Columbia College Chicago. Her photographs and videos have been exhibited internationally and are in permanent collections around the world. An Archive of her papers, lectures, writings, research and photographs has been established at The Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art and she has received numerous commissions and awards including a Fulbright Travel Grant, Illinois Arts Council, Polaroid Grants and New York Foundation for the Arts Photography Fellowships. Author of EarthWords and Neon Boneyard Las Vegas A-Z, Natal’s photographs explore the visual and textual narratives of landscape. She’s held artist residencies that have taken her to Iceland, the Robotics Institute, Joshua Tree National Park, and in Arizona at Biosphere 2, where she founded an artist residency. Her newest project addressing global warming, The Weather Diaries, has brought her to Iceland and the Faroe Islands – the project works to bring immediacy to the dramatic weather events we are witnessing around the globe

Art History and the Environment

Just finished teaching a new course on art and the environment (an art history/contemporary art course). (See courses page for syllabus).10501743_945970768811874_1449745246498666413_n

The course subtitle was “Changing Views of Landscape” and we examined the very meaning of the term “landscape”– a term that has long-standing aesthetic subtexts — and landscape painting and photography, which have informed our expectations for our environment.

We read historical texts that contributed to the formation of our landscape ideas by writers like Uvedale Price, Richard Payne Knight, Henry David Thoreau, John Brinkerhoff Jackson, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and all the rest, and explored recent movements like deep ecology and eco-terroism. The overarching perspective from the present were the ecological writings of philosopher Timothy Morton, especially his book Hyperobjects (U. Minn. 2013)

Students used historical, aesthetic, and ethical discussions to ground their own community-engagement projects addressing clean air and water issues and how people deal with them.  Below are some links to the class projects.

Environmental Justice Now

https://www.facebook.com/environmentaljusticenow/

WAC Water

https://wacwater.wordpress.com/

Losing Louisiana: A Memorial Service for New Orleans

https://www.facebook.com/losinglouisiana/

Breathe225

https://www.facebook.com/breathe225