For the following interview based text three voices were recorded, transcribed, and edited to reveal the multiple disciplinary perspectives that are explored. Only two reflected my professional proficiency – art and ecology. My search for an anthropology/ethnography partner coincided with the opening of an exhibition entitled “World of Matter” at the James Gallery, CUNY Graduate Center, New York. The exhibition incorporated all four disciplines. It utilized the methodologies of the social and natural sciences to examine instances of geopolitical-ecological upheaval. Although the venue was an art gallery, issues of migration, energy production, and mining were not presented as painted or sculpted representations. They took the form of photographic documentation, video, text, and film. Its anthropological/ethnographic content was expanded by the inclusion of historical narratives, scientific laboratory research, community initiatives, and indigenous technologies initiatives that are unique to each locale that was represented. The first interview partner was the curator Katherine Carl.
My initial visit to this exhibition was made more momentous because I was accompanied by an artist whose practice stretches the definition of fine art beyond its traditional borders by introducing issues, processes, aesthetics, functions, and materials that are anachronistic to the history of art. Her extensive output breached many discipline divisions. Some veered in the direction of anthropology and ethnography. This artist was Natalie Jeremijenko, the second interview partner.
Anthropology, Art, Institutions, Creativity, Critical Realism, Ethics