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Lesson Plans

A&E.A questions

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Midori J Ishibashi (midori)
Tue, 13 Oct 1998 12:07:44 -0700 (MST)

Mierle Ukeles' performance piece, "Touch Sanitation" involved a year-long
project in which she shook hands and conversed with 8500 of New York
City's sanitation workers. She carefully documented her conversations and
recorded the workers' "private stories, fears, castigations, and public
humiliations." In doing so, she aimed to challenge and hopefully dispell
the negative stereotypes and language society uses to refer to sanitation
workers. My question about this piece is: who is her audience? Is the
piece accessible to the general public? Is the general public aware of
her piece (i.e. has her piece been effective in touching the general
public and provoking a reaction to societal attitudes towards sanitation

Reading about Barbara Westfall's ecological and performance art piece
"Gathering Places" provoked a question in my mind about the nature of
ecological art. Westfall's piece takes place on her private property. It
involves her daily activites, focussed on a "community-based, ecologically
healthy, sustainable land-based way of living." It is an on-going piece,
changing with the seasons. In the fall of 1993 she had an exhibition in
which she invited community members to come and visit her farm. It
seems that the intent of most ecological art is to somehow shape or
change, or increase awareness of the public's attitutes towards the
environment. If this is the intent of an ecological work of art, should
it be accessible to the public at all times, or at least on a regular
basis? Is it possible to have ecological art that is never
accessible to the public?