Water as Artist-Collaborator: Posthumanism and Reconciliation in Relational Media Arts-Based Education
The global climate change-related water crisis, disproportionately affecting peoples marginalised by ongoing settler-colonialism, challenges us to take up a new ontology beyond the Anthropocene. Recognising universities as ethically entangled, my PhD praxis process aimed at engaging universities in reconciliation – of peoples and ecosystems – as a practice. This practice takes the form of a relational university course that involves intra-actions between students, water bodies and technology (audio/video as relational texts) to co-construct water narratives as films. In this paper, using posthuman theories to read the data, I uncover what/who is being changed in this course and how. Most notable of these changes is that of water as becoming collaborator in artistic/knowledge co-production, where students think with water. I argue this renders possible reconciliation understood as a material-discursive practice, with water, (re)configuring relationality to decentre humans and their ways of knowing/being/doing, and to co-constitute more equal power relations between bodies (both human and nonhuman).
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Copyright (c) 2021 Sarah Van Borek
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