Cultural practice—art, writing, film, design—is a potent way to share knowledge and ideas. It is never more powerful than when it illuminates the critical issues that we are faced with and forges a pathway of curiosity and understanding. As we recognize the urgent need for meeting the challenges of climate change and pollution, cultural expression is a ground for global visibility, an essential platform and a strong voice that transcends borders and languages.
These three practitioners bring their work and perspectives on the impact of human interaction with the environment, and the role of stewardship and globally connected Indigeneity to this discussion. Water is a starting focus for the conversation.
George Nuku’s work is currently showing at Ora Gallery. He works in stone, bone, wood, shell, polystyrene, and Plexiglas, a transparent form of plastic. Rather than condemn plastic to silence, Nuku claims the material as living matter for his art. We (humans) made it, we need to manage it and use it rather than abandon it as uncontrollable waste. In the anthropocene era we must take responsibility for our impact.
Beatrice Glow is an interdisciplinary artist working on sculptural installations, trilingual publishing, and participatory and lecture performances. Her practice mines the relationship between Asia and the Americas, investigating transpacific cultural circulations. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.
Christiana Z. Peppard is Assistant Professor of Theology, Science and Ethics at Fordham University and an expert on global fresh water ethics. Peppard claims water as a human right and a right-to-life issue. Stewardship of water as a relationship of mutual respect is a worldview shared by many, indigenous cultures in particular.
Image: George Nuku, Bottled Ocean, 2016.