BRIEF BIO

Born and raised in the occupied unceded sovereign territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations on the wild West coast of colonial Canada, I am a researcher, practitioner, scholar, curator, activist, advisor, teacher, and mentor in the transdisciplinary field of culture and sustainability. Since 1990 my work has focused on the role of the arts, and of our sensory aesthetic engagement with place, world, and other beings in informing, forming, and transforming beliefs, values, practices and policies. Since 1997 my primary focus has been investigating the role of the arts, and of artists as wayfinders and guides to "cultures of sustainability", what MIT professor emeritus John Ehrenfeld terms a "sustainably flourishing" future.

I am very grateful for amazing mentors and teachers at the leading edge of their fields. I hold a graduate degree in Values + Environment from Lancaster University's Institute for Environment, Philosophy, and Public Policy, and an interdisciplinary research and practice BFA from Emily Carr University.  I also studied with phototherapy pioneer, psychologist and photographer Judy Weiser, at the Vancouver Phototherapy Centre.

 

Trained from the age of 10 years with international and local masters in the techniques and technologies of traditional fine arts, film photography, design, and interactive media (performance and installation) until 1997 I was an internationally exhibited visual artist,

As both researcher and artist, I design and implement research models that are also immersive artworks. Since the early 1990s I have worked in this way, developing  collaborative longterm science-arts social practice initiatives that engage multiple sectors, computer interactive environments, and, working within a framework of phototherapy, a practice that works with individuals to explore their embodied and emotional relationships with places, other species and with earth.

I am thankful to dwell in the occupied, unceded sovereign territories of several Coast Salish nations, and for the insight and friendship of First Nations teachers, friends, and colleagues over the years.

THE WORK + WHY IT MATTERS

My work includes researching, building, and leading multi-sector collaborative initiatives that bring the power of the arts to conversations and strategies for attaining sustainably flourishing futures, initiatives that invite publics across cultures to engage deeply with their home places and habitats, and bring diverse stakeholder perspectives and public voices to the conversation.

 

As an advisor I have assisted startup and existing organisations concerned with finding the opportunity embedded in negative futures.

Over 25 years I've been investigating the trajectory, impacts and outcomes of Ecological Art (Eco-art) practices.

Ecological art is not discipline specific. Ecological artists work for systems change: from the natural and the personal, to the socio-cultural and political. We do not answer to clients, but to the integrity and well-being of the complex, enmeshed biocultural systems of life, aiming to move humanity toward a future of sustained flourishing for all life. This is the heart of Praxis.

I write, publish, and lecture internationally, developing and leading courses of study and professional workshops that bridge disciplines, professions, and cultures, bringing the creative imagination to collaborative process, pursuing innovative responses to questions arising from the complex, "wicked" problems of climate change impacts, biodiversity loss, and local place-based challenges.

It is my belief that by investigating instances of socio-cultural and policy change impact of these artist-initiated, arts-led approaches, and exploring what it is about these processes that lead to transformative change, will bring artists and designers concerned with sustainably flourishing futures to the table in meaningful ways, as experts in bringing about the kind of transformative change industrialised culture requires to make profound and essential shifts.

"Sustainability" is the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on the Earth forever               - John Ehrenfeld

  • SCALE/LeSAUT Canada (Sectoral Climate Arts Leadership for the Emergency/Leadership Sectoriel des Arts sur l'Urgence de la Transition écologique) (roundtable)

  • Canadian Society for Environmental Philosophy/ Société Canadienne de Philosophie Environnementale​ (Original Steering committee)

  • International Society for Environmental Ethics

  • International Environmental Communications Association (Founding Member)

  • International Ecoart Network (since 2001)

Broadly, a study of human engagements with "environment" and other species;  investigating the role and impacts of creativity, and embodied, sensuous aesthetic engagements in defining those relationships.

Tracking the transformative capacity of artist-initiated and arts-led collaborative practices to generate change in socio-cultural systems + public policy.

The role of "art" + design in human-environment + interspecies relations, esp. the potential role of these practices and their artefacts in determining socio-cultural understandings, desires, values + behaviours

Biocultures - could a revelation + embracing of bioculture help transform understandings, values, and ultimately change behaviours and policies in industrialised cultures?

The generation and nurturing of emotional connection, affinity and sense of duty in humans toward places and other species through embodied, sensory aesthetic engagements, + practices, esp, over time.  

Animism + Interrelationality in human-world + interspecies relations

Merleau-Ponty's Ontology

Intercultural Philosophy

Field Philosophy

EDITORIAL ADVISOR: Canadian Journal for Environmental Philosophy/Le Revue Canadienne de Philosophie Environnementale (CJEP/RCPE)

SECTION EDITOR: The Trumpeter, Journal of Ecosophy (2016/18)

REVIEWER

Anthropology of Consciousness, American Anthropological Association

Environmental Humanities, Duke University Press

Geographical Review, American Geographical Society

Music & Arts in Action, University of Exeter

The Trumpeter, Athabasca University Press

Assessor: UNESCO UniTwin Program

RESEARCH AREAS + INTERESTS

AFFILIATIONS

Environmental Studies (Values + Environment)

EcoPhenomenology, Environmental Ethics + Applied Philosophy

Social Anthropology, Sociology

Ecological Social Sculpture/Social Practice Art

Traditional Fine Arts, Film Photography, Computer Interactive Arts

DISCIPLINES/AREAS OF STUDY