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, writer, and practitioner 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 thankful 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 exhibiting visual artist,
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
RESEARCH AREAS + INTERESTS
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.
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
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 affinity and obligation toward places and other beings through embodied, sensory aesthetic engagements, + practices
Human-world + interspecies relations
DISCIPLINES/AREAS OF STUDY
Environmental Studies (Values + Environment)
EcoPhenomenology, Environmental Ethics + Applied Philosophy
Social Anthropology, Sociology
Ecological Social Sculpture/Social Practice Art
Traditional Fine Arts, Film Photography, Interactive Arts
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)
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
EDITORIAL ADVISOR: Canadian Journal for Environmental Philosophy/Le Revue Canadienne de Philosophie Environnementale (CJEP/RCPE)
SECTION EDITOR: The Trumpeter, Journal of Ecosophy (2016/18)