Bending Art and Science Together: Exploring Nature and Observations in Big Bend National Park
Advisor: Romi Burks
This project is a visual representation of meshing art and science into a raw installation that showcases the impact of anthropogenic practices on the environment through anthropogenic pollution collected from the Big Bend National Park. In the process of coalescing these two distinct disciplines through data collection and studio art mechanisms, we aim to create a thought-provoking piece of art that invokes conversation of conceptualizing waste, space, access, (slow) violence, and purity in the midst of an ecological crisis driven by anthropogenic causes. We want to make a call to action of the common belief, “out of sight, out of mind.” We want to highlight the idea that waste does not simply vanish as soon as we place it in another site. This is important to consider to establish a dialogue that communicates prominent environmental, ecological, and social justice issues that place minorities in systems of normalized oppression. By conducting our project at Big Bend, we are immersing ourselves in a space that embodies preservation and exclusion against a remarkable backdrop, while collecting physical evidence of pollution, even in a place that humans have self-declared to be pure. Bringing this evidence back to campus illuminates the severity of the issue, in addition to making space for dialogue among those who interact with the piece.