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Rewriting the Wild: Writing women into the wilderness - Work in Progress

Recently I have been revisiting classic novels that feature ‘man-vs-nature’ conflict narratives, editing them to feature female protagonists. To date this project includes The Old Man and the Sea (The Old Woman and the Sea), and The Call of the Wild, with two more in progress. Currently, The Call of the Wild has been printed and sent out to 25 participants for review, to respond to the project and the new story.


The impulse to do this has developed naturally over the course of my current work and research which is centered around imaginings of nature and deconstructing the dominant narratives of human/nature relationships in contemporary culture. Beyond academic concerns, this particular project has also largely been inspired by my experience as a new mother; considering the role that stories play in the formation of our sense of self, our position in the world and relationship to the earth. By revisiting the stories that I enjoyed as a young female reader, I have been thinking about the different ways in which these same stories might be experienced by my son as a reader.  
Overall this experiment attempts to invent a genre missing from the cannon of classic literature. While contemporary feminist perspectives create a possible space for changing ideas about human-non-human relationships today, these new readings of classic fictions ask whether different kinds of historical relationships to nature might emerge via the female voice.
This work is itself a form of fiction that imagines what if these perspectives and voices had always been heard; What possible worlds could we live in now?


This project is funded in part by the Toronto Arts Council Visual Arts Program.









Mark
A Breathing Room, 2015-2017

A Breathing Room is a living installation, housing the correct number of plants (Approx 300) necessary for one person to breathe symbiotically with plant life. The architectural component of A Breathing Room was designed in collaboration with Calgary-based architect Matt Knapik in 2015.







This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada


Cyanotypes - Movement Compositions

The cyanotype prints that comprise Movement Compositions are presented as four different maps, each a specific collection of ten figures of plant movement from The 1886 book The Power of Movement in Plants by Charles Darwin. The figures are recontextualized within a community of plants as one might imagine them together in a garden or in the wild:
Movement Composition for Ten Flowers; Movement Composition for a Vegetable Garden; Movement Composition for a Forest; and Movement Composition for Ten Cabbages.




Movement Composition for Ten Flowers



Movement Composition for a Vegetable Garden


Movement Composition for a Forest


Movement Composition for Ten Cabbages


Mark
Suit of Movements - Animation

Suite of movements, is a short animation of ten selected figures of plant movement from The Power of Movement in Plants by Charles Darwin (sunflower, strawberry, fave bean cabbage, corn oak, raspberry, cabbage, clover, asparagus) digital animation, 2017



Full Animation is 5min.  51sec clip:








Mark
Plant Radio For Plants

9.5 The StickFM or Plant Radio for Plants - was developed and preformed by Amanda White, Brad Isaacs, and various indoor and outdoor plants over the course of several days in 2014. The StickFM radio station broadcasted live from the woods at 89.5 FM via low watt homemade radio transmitters attached to sticks. Drawing on the idea that radio as a medium can be a way in which “unheard voices can be amplified”, the objective of the project was to facilitate radio communication between communities of indoor and outdoor plants, as well as to question encounters between plants and humans.




Mark