Week 9

For assessment 3, the issue I have chosen to research is the diminishing bee populations, and the contributing factors at play within this issue. I have chosen to look at each of the factors influencing the dwindling bee populations, and whether some are fixable factors or not. This idea is important to look at, seeing as bees play an important role in the food production industry, being responsible for approximately a third of the food on our plates.

Chapter 7: Changing The World and the Afterword: Visual Activism, of Mirzoeff’s “How To See The World” is an important part of the research for this project,  as it discusses the importance of visual thinking. Visual thinking refers to how the artist intends to communicate their ideas through visual text, and how the viewer receives the message behind the image. Visual activism is a sister term for visual thinking, referring to the use of visual imagery to communicate an important issue to the viewer. Both of these terms are crucial to consider when making art that deals with important world issues, in order for the concepts to be properly communicated and understood by the viewer. This ties into Mirzoeff’s ideas throughout both chapters of what it means to be a citizen in this global era, where anything we see or post online is viewed globally by other online users. Thus creating an ideal atmosphere to communicate ideas of activism and the potential for them to gain popularity in order to spread awareness and make a difference.

A3 workbook processes

Week 9

Throughout Chapter 7: changing the world and the Afterword: visual activism in Mirzoeff’s How To See The World the two terms; ‘visual activism’ and visual thinking’ are mentioned. Both are important to understand when reading the last two chapters, in order to fully grasp the point of the chapter.

The term ‘Visual Activism’ (Mirzoeff 271) refers to ways in which people have chosen to protest any given issue, using varying forms of imagery to get their points across. Popular  forms of visual activism can include graffiti, painted placards (used in protests), photographs, videos, installation pieces, sculpture, blogs etc. This often involves using social media as a springboard in order to raise the issue in a ‘public-like’ space in order to provoke a response and spread awareness, often through the use of memes, hashtags, or sharing videos, images or text.

Another term Mirzoeff uses is ‘Visual Thinking’ (Mirzoeff 259). This term refers to the thought processes that result from visual activism itself, such as how viewers interpret visual messages communicated by activists. This may involve agreeing or disagreeing with the artist’s perspective or even simply recognising an issue of importance and forming an opinion on it.  This concept has a lot to do with representation also, as different forms of representing one idea are likely to produce different interpretations or reactions from viewers. For example, an issue could be represented from a specific standpoint, therefore creating a bias and influencing how the viewer absorbs the information communicated visually. Alternatively visual thinking could merely be applied to a work that asks the viewer simply to question the issue at hand.

Both of these terms are strongly considered when creating work that deals with issues of importance, as these are both themes that contribute toward making a successful visual text that actively engages the audiences and provokes questioning.

 

For this assessment, I have chosen to look at is the world’s declining bee populations, and more specifically; the role that pesticides play within this issue. The video below explains the basis of the issue I want to cover.

Other resources:

Works Cited:

MIRZOEFF, NICHOLAS. “THE CHANGING WORLD”. HOW TO SEE THE WORLD. LONDON: PELICAN, 2015. 211-252. PRINT.
 Andries, Kate. “Pictures: Colored Honey Made by Candy-Eating French Bees.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 13 Oct. 2012. Web. 01 June 2016.
Arbuckle, Heidi. “Of Pigs, Puppets and Protest – Inside Indonesia.” Insideindonesia.org. Inside Indonesia, Dec. 2000. Web. 01 June 2016.
“Monsanto Targeted in Worldwide Protests.” Abc.net.au. ABC News, 23 May 2015. Web. 01 June 2016.
BBC radio,. “In Our Time”. consciousness. 25 Nov 1999. Web. 1 June 2016.
Israel, Ronald C. “What Does It Mean to Be a Global Citizen?” Kosmosjournal.org. N.p., 2012. Web. 2 June 2016.

 

Week 10

Photos of Brainstorms & notes:

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Lambert, Shannon. A3 notes and brainstorms 1. 2016. JPEG

 

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“Chris Jordan – Running the Numbers.” Chris Jordan – Running the Numbers. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 June 2016.

Pictured above: Silent Spring, 2014,  44×58″ and 60×80″; Chris Jordan and Rebecca Clark; made from 28 graphite drawings by Rebecca Clark. This work showing 183,000 birds, approximately representative of the amount of birds killed by pesticides every year in the United States.

 

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“Rebecca Clark-Bees” Rebeccaclarkart.com. Web. 01 June 2016.

Pictured above: a screenshot of some of Rebecca Clark’s artworks as they appear on her website. This artist creates detailed pencil drawings of animals and nature, in order to remind us of how precious nature is. This artist aims to communicate to the audience our lacking relationship with nature and how we have lost touch with it over time.

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Hatton, Sarah. “Bee Works.” Sarahhattonartist.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 June 2016.

Pictured above: a screenshot of Sarah Hatton’s art works as they appear on her website. These works are made up of dead bees arranged in optical illusions to emulate the dizzying effects that pesticides have of the bees themselves, disorientating them and causing them to stray from the hive. This is an interesting concept to consider when thinking about my final piece.

 

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Brown, Andrew. Art Et Ecology Now. London: Thames Et Hudson, 2014. Print.

Klaus Weber’s work (above) works with the “random forces and forms of nature” (Thames & Hudson 85) by incorporating live subtropical trees and a bee’s nest. He uses these things to demonstrate people’s inability to control the nature surrounding us as opposed to the western view of the opposite.

 

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Lambert, Shannon. A3 notes and brainstorms 3. 2016. JPEG

 

Key Terms & Definitions:

Visual Activism: this term refers to a desire for change sparked by imagery, or the use of imagery to spark change in itself. This includes but is not limited to photos, videos, graffiti and other street art, performance art and events.

Citizenship: referring to the act of being a citizen, meaning to take on the entitlements, rights and responsibilities that come with being a member of any given society.

Change Agents: meaning aspects of a situation that bring about revolution as a reaction to an opposing and sometimes viewpoint of authority. These aspects may be present at any time and space where change is imminent, such as significant events that awaken the need for change.

Cultural Critics: this term refers to any people that critique and comment on the workings of society, often drawing attention to the need for change. Often the more creative of these critics use their observations of their surrounding cultures to influence their work and in the process inspire activism.

Protest: to make a point of disagreeing with something or someone and take action toward bringing about change, usually involving a minority campaigning against a majority.

Resistance: similar to the words protest and boycott, but aligns more with the act of simply    opposing in reaction to a situation.

 

Other resources:

 

Works Cited:

“Chris Jordan – Running the Numbers.” Chris Jordan – Running the Numbers. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 June 2016.
“Rebecca Clark-Bees” Rebeccaclarkart.com. Web. 01 June 2016.
Hatton, Sarah. “Bee Works.” Sarahhattonartist.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 June 2016.
“What Is a Neonicotinoid?” Citybugs.tamu.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 June 2016.
Schwartz, John. “Decline of Pollinators Poses Threat to World Food Supply, Report Says.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 26 Feb. 2016. Web. 02 June 2016.
Hopwood, Jennifer, Mace Vaughan, Matthew Shepherd, David Biddinger, Eric Mader, Scott Hoffman Black, and Celeste Mazzacano. “ARE NEONICOTINOIDS KILLING BEES?” Into.psu.edu/publicationshttp://ento.psu.edu/publications/are-neonicotinoids-killing-bees. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, 2012. Web. 3 June 2016.
Frankie, Gordon W., Rizzardi Mark, Vinson S. Bradleigh, and Griswold Terry L. “Decline in Bee Diversity and Abundance from 1972-2004 on a Flowering Leguminous Tree, Andira Inermis in Costa Rica at the Interface of Disturbed Dry Forest and the Urban Environment.” Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 82.1 (2009): 1-20. Web.
Brown, Andrew. Art Et Ecology Now. London: Thames Et Hudson, 2014. Print.

 

Week 11

I have chosen to research further into neonicotinoids, which fall under the umbrella category of pesticides. Neonicotionoids are a class of pesticides that are chemically similar to that of nicotines, but invertebrates are more susceptible to the effects of these chemicals than mammals. These insecticides were deveopled in the early nineties as a safer alternative to DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), which is more hazardous to people and the environment. However neonicotinoids are still dangerous as they affect the bee’s nervous systems, causing them to lose their way back to their hives, have convulsions or die. I feel this is important to bring awareness to through my works because people often are not aware of this issue, nor are they aware of how much of an impact these pesticides are having on the bee population.

Photos of Brainstorms & notes:

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 Lambert, Shannon. A3 notes and brainstorms 2. 2016. JPEG

 

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“Dead Bee Portraits.” tworooms.co.nz. N.p., Dec. 2012. Web.

Pictured above is one of New Zealand photographer Anne Noble’s works from her series; Dead Bee Portraits. For these works, Noble started photographing bees after discovering her new found love for beekeeping. The artist herself is also concerned for the declining bee populations so naturally these works were inspired by that issue, while her delicate yet eerie works strive to remind us of the importance of these tiny creatures.

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Chalmers, Kate Brettkelly. “Nature Study | Ocula.” A Conversation with Anne Noble | Ocula. N.p., 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 07 June 2016.

Pictured above is another of Anne Noble’s works, but from a different series named Nature Study. These works aim to remind us again of the importance of the honeybee and its place in our world, yet through different subject matter consisting of wings from dead bees.

 

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“Judy Chicago The Dinner Party.” Judy Chicago The Dinner Party. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2016.

Pictured Above: “The Dinner Party” by feminist artist Judy Chicago, depicts a dinner party set out as a memorial to recognise female importance in history and culture. Judy Chicago and this work of hers would be an interesting influence on my project, using the table setting idea to touch on the food aspect of my issue. I could possibly use this as inspiration to show how much less food we would have access to as a result of the extinction of bees.

 

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Lambert, Shannon. A3 notes and brainstorms 4. 2016. JPEG

 

Key Terms & Definitions:

Agency: an organised group (such as a company) that provides a sort of service for another organised group.

Social Responsibility: the obligations that come with being part of a particular social group or community.

Transformative Practises: this term refers to a way of doing things over a given amount of time, aspiring to implement eventual change.

Other resources:

 

Works Cited:

“Dead Bee Portraits.” tworooms.co.nz. N.p., Dec. 2012. Web. 07 June 2016.
Chalmers, Kate Brettkelly. “Nature Study | Ocula.” A Conversation with Anne Noble | Ocula. N.p., 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 07 June 2016.
Nzpa. “Pesticide Levels in NZ Food Unacceptable – Lobbyists.” The New Zealand Herald. N.p., 27 July 2010. Web. 07 June 2016.
Staveley, Jane P.., Sheryl A. Law, Anne Fairbrother, and Charles A. Menzie. “Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal.” Www.tandfonline.com. N.p., 12 Aug. 2013. Web. 7 June 2016.
Allen, Jennifer, Sophie Berrebi, Claire Bishop, Beatrice Von Bismark, Maaike Bleeker, Jeroen Boomgaard, Nicolas Bourriaud, Deborah Cherry, Hal Foster, Mischa Rakier, Margriet Schavemaker, Marc Spiegler, Olav Velthuis, and Kitty Zijlmans. Right About Now: Art & Theory Since the 1990’s. Amsterdam: Valiz, 2007. Print.
“Judy Chicago The Dinner Party.” Judy Chicago The Dinner Party. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 June 2016.

 

 

Week 12

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Lambert, Shannon. The Perishing Percentage. 2016. JPEG.

Draft of Final Blog Submission:

 

The final work of mine communicates the impact for humans and our meals if bees go extinct. I chose to work with food as it is something we can all relate to, and appreciate how important it is in our daily routines of life. Food is an important piece of subject matter, because it makes those viewing the piece pay attention to what the message behind the work is. The empty third of the plate symbolises the amount of food on our plates that could go extinct if bees do too. This is because roughly a third of our meals is made possible by bees and the important jobs they do pollinating flowers, in order for food crops to thrive and reproduce. This aims to show viewers how important bees really are to our methods of producing food. But since the introduction of pesticides and mass crop monocultures after WWII, the bee populations of the world have been suffering.

This work has taken influence from the works of Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party”, as well as the research informing the percentages that my final piece is based on, such as dividing the plate into thirds. I have incorporated Chicago’s idea of using plates and cutlery for my subject matter, to tie into the theme of using food as a vehicle to communicate the importance of the issue I am looking at.

Another artist influence present in my final work is Sarah Hatton’s use of round shape, as communicated by the plate on the table in my photograph. Sarah Hatton works with circular shapes as a framing device for the patterns created by arrangements of dead bees resembling optical illusions. This use of organic shape also communicates that my issue concerns the natural world.

Another part of this work that is important to note is the original ideas of activism and visual thinking as mentioned in Mirzoeff’s text How To See The World, dedicating an entire chapter towards social activism and the ways in which people have chosen to communicate ideas of protest against certain issues. This was important to keep in mind when creating my work, in order to create a piece that is visually powerful and communicates the important statistics that I want to draw attention to.