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Title: Working between art and forestry : towards an ecology of practices
Author: Clarke, Jennifer
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is an anthropological inquiry into how art comes to be made in and about forests, and how forestry, art practice and anthropology could be mutually enriched. Drawing primarily on more than two years of fieldwork (2009 - 2012) it examines some of the overlapping interrelationships that emerge through working in the interstices between art and forestry in Scotland, by paying attention to the grounds of artists' and foresters' interests and practices as they operate in specific instances. This thesis also investigates pertinent aspects of forestry management such as forest design and landscape planning, as well as foresters' approaches to interpretation and the role of art in the context of public forestry in Scotland, considering the contemporary issues for the 'multi-purpose' management of such complex ecological and social systems. The points of intersection between the fields of art and forestry are axiological as well as practical. This thesis explores diverse ways of working in as well as with art and forestry, that in different ways are concerned with questions of agency, ethics, and aesthetics, ways of seeing, materials and material processes. It reviews different approaches to art, from more traditional examples of permanent sculptural works commissioned for public forests, to projects by artists whose work engages explicitly with the ethics and politics of working forests, and with people, as well as aspects of forestry management as I mention above. Moreover, my research also explores some of the correspondences between art and anthropology, and works towards one way of doing anthropology 'with' art rather than an anthropology 'of' art. This is revealed in correspondences between art and anthropology, which this thesis explores through practical and conversational experiments that chime with skilled ways of working in both art and forestry. While critical of the apocalyptic visions and utopian politics that often accompany ecological thinking, this thesis is correspondent with forms of contemporary ecological art praxis. The research is offered as a contribution to such ways of working, which reveal the interweaving political, philosophical and ethical implications of ecological perspectives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Art ; Forestry ; Forestry management ; Outdoor art