Archives for category: Art and Social Change

I am finally realizing the importance of using the word “communication” instead of “art” when talking about the project. When I start describing what I am doing in terms of “art” people check out, stop listening, make assumptions…when I say that I am working on communication and climate change, people are actually willing to listen and once I start describing the texting project, the link between agency and imagination, lowering your carbon footprint and so on…they start contributing to the conversation.

Things that have been reflected back to me: texting is a really effective and useful tool for reaching and communicating with youth. It gives them a way of responding without the pressure of being the one with their hand in the air. Many young people are more comfortable saying what they think through their phones. Would they be interested in projecting their texts as a live feed in a performance context? What technology would be needed to do that? Could a dialogue happen on screen? How would we keep the level of the conversation up and relevant?  Communications technology and live performance are potentially an effective means of developing meaningful, thought-provoking and creative spaces for new ways of shifting public consciousness.haha – that is so 1960s. I love it. I sound like the intermedia artists from Schneemann’s era – trying to change the world. But there it is. I DO want to change the world. And I do want to reach people, engage them, activate the space between thinking and doing. Keep it in the body but work with the tools of our current culture.

Other thoughts: Funding…get creative about partnerships and working with people from agencies outside of the academic world. HEALTH and the environment. If I could figure out ways of pitching this idea as a health concern – mental health? Also- there is money available from sources where the application procedures are not nearly so onerous as the academic/government funding, Private sector, businesses focusing on technology and alternative energy etc. 

  I need to develop my own relationships with people in agencies or organizations outside of academia so that I can become an expert on communication for climate change in Canada. That way I can develop more visibility and create a model for working with communities on issues. Use my PHD as a means of learning to work across disciplines but also outside of the institution so that when I am done I have already created a space for myself in the world of communication for climate change. Talking to LL about her organization and work – she is doing the same kind of partnership building. The difference is that as an artist, I want to maintain the poetic exchange and offer creative insight within those partnerships….Not just in terms of the structure of how people can work together on issues but also in terms of content.


Questions for my research: What is the model I want to develop? How can I frame this as new knowledge in the field of communication for climate change?


I have rolls and rolls of paper now from the number of scrolls I asked people to walk on. The next step is to create a way of carrying the carbon scrolls with me, awkwardly, over a period of time. I will document the effort and reflect on what it means to store carbon, and sinkhole CO2.

I love Winnipeg artists. A huge generalization based on a recent re-interaction with one individual, Ken Gregory, but I will elaborate. I grew up in Winnipeg and returned as an adult.  After a BFA at Concordia, I moved back to Wpg. and slid into the visual arts world with a goal of creating performance installations that were informed by my dance background but not performed in that milieu. The visual artists I encountered at various events and venues were fantastically supportive of my cross-over and rather than seeing my participation as competition, welcomed me as an emerging artist with something to contribute. It was lovely. So why do I love Winnipeg artists – beyond feeling included? Because there is a way of approaching art work which encourages artists to take personal risks, challenge categories and yet stay grounded in the understanding that there is a community which supports individual (and collaborative) endeavours. It all sounds like nostalgia, but as I was witnessing Ken Gregory’s artist talk, I remembered, like a warm blanket at a campfire on a cold night, how nice it was to be challenged by the work, not the people. Real art by real people. Thank you.