My master's thesis for Rhode Island School of Design's MA program in Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies, defended in December 2019, is titled "An Intricate Ensemble: The Art-Science of an Ecological Imaginary for the Anthropocene Epoch." The upshot in a nutshell: practices and frameworks that emphasize and enhance collaboration, spontaneity, and care, in defying convention, contain the potential to subvert it.


The thesis is available in its entirety at RISD Digital Commons.


ABSTRACT:


The contradictions inherent in European Enlightenment-based “logics” that externalize humans from “nature” were a concern for the Romantic Naturalists, Dadaists, and Surrealists. More recently, some in the environmental humanities and socio-ecologically-concerned arts and sciences have also posed challenges to anthropocentric, hierarchical, positivist modes of thought. I suggest that by engaging the ludic, imaginative, and collaborative while bearing the empirical in mind, dualisms (such as objective and subjective, individual and collective) dissipate, and existence as a dialectical state of intricate ensemble can be revealed. In light of catastrophic disruption to Earth’s life-sustaining processes by exploitative forms of human activity, I argue an “ecological imaginary” is urgently needed, and everyone is capable of contributing to its prefiguring.