Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Of ice shields, oceans, and train yards: Research-creation towards meaningful contact with a feral terrain
Lucie Lederhendler
2nd Author
3rd Author
2019 (September)
Number of Pages
50 (TBD)
Concordia University
Thesis Supervisor
Dr. MJ Thompson
Supervisor e-mail
mj.thompson AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Art Education
Languages Familiar to Author
English, French
URL where full thesis can be found
research-creation; environmental art; urban wilderness; community engagement; post-industrial ecologies; Indigenous knowledge; fieldwork; zoetrope; augmented reality
Abstract: 200-500 words
This artistic research project is a speculative account that reflects on the artist-as witness to the de-enchantments and re-enchantments of a contested terrain in post-industrial Montreal, Canada. It articulates interactions between the human agent and a damaged and disturbed environmental site. Taking advantage of the confluence of this research and a renewal in the city's interest, the project calls into question the stark binaries that the idea of a separate "nature" implies. It builds on the work of art educators and academics who have resisted the siloing of art, focusing on the merging of public policy and place histories into an environmental art project. Content provided by implicated community members, the author's own experience, and archival research coalesce into mythologies, articulated through visual arts. Artworks, used in this way, are a filter that is able to manipulate the viewer's understanding of scale, translating the stories of millennia into decades, years, or moments. Furthermore, borrowing from Indigenous Canadian knowledge, it seeks to translate the metaphors of connection—for example, "Mother Earth"—into a literal way of seeing the world. A field guide and zoetrope installations function as an analogue augmented reality machine that superimposes geological and mythological time onto the immediate present, literally and figuratively animating the landscape for the viewer.