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UAL Research Online

The witnessed and mediated ‘natural’ environment in remote regions

fitzPatrick, Edwina (2017) The witnessed and mediated ‘natural’ environment in remote regions. In: ASLE-UKI & Land2 Conference 2017: Cross Multi Inter Trans, 7-9 September 2017, University of Sheffield.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: fitzPatrick, Edwina

The witnessed and mediated ‘natural’ environment proposes a fusion between a performance, provocation, and illustrated paper. It involves a highly scripted performance in the form of a quasi lecture, with pre-recorded video interruptions taking place behind the presenter – sometimes agreeing with her scripted opinion, sometime not. Sometimes, both virtual and actual contributors will play devil’s advocate. These collaborative contributions are from writers, scientists and artists that the presenter has already collaborated with, who engage with the now contested term of the Anthropocene. The presenter will form a broad framework, which is then structured, re-defined and re-aligned in response to the collaborators video comments. All participants have creative and critical input to the final presentation. The presentation deliberately combines quite literally mediated (the video) and witnessed (the performance) aspects, reflecting its subject matter.

As few of us have been to the Polar Regions or to the depth of the seas or deserts, the presentation considers the proximity of remote environments and the biodiversity that they support, and how we engage with, and witness them. Some of the collaborators have. What might happen when we shift from being a spectator into a witness, because what is happening in front of our eyes is an actuality, not a media representation? As critical writer, James Polchin states, ‘The word witness, as we have come to define it in the latter half of the twentieth century, is more readily equated with the experiences of surviving trauma, investing the act of witnessing with an ethical responsibility.... to witness, especially in the context of historical visual documents, demands not only a speaking, but a speaking out’. So when you are witness to something, you become implicated in it.

This is contrasted with mediated, and media-based (mis)understandings of remote regions and artworks sited or originating there. So much footage about them comes to us through the Internet or TV – it is distanced, so we are able to switch off – literally and metaphorically. Alternatively, the actual artwork there becomes superseded and replaced by its representations/mediations.

Official Website: https://asleukiland2017.com
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: September 2017
Related Websites: http://land2.leeds.ac.uk/people/edwina-fitzpatrick/
Event Location: University of Sheffield
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2017 10:19
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2017 10:19
Item ID: 11075
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/11075

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