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Environmental Art Infiltrations: An evening with artists Ash Arder and Paloma Barhaugh-Bordas

Moderated by Jennifer Jolly, Art History, Ithaca College

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Ash Arder  is a transdisciplinary artist whose research-based approach works to expose, deconstruct or reconfigure physical and conceptual systems - especially those relating to ecology. Arder’s highly flexible practice examines interspecies relations and natural phenomena primarily through historical and popular culture lenses.

Ash Arder

At the very core, my creative practice is concerned with the idea of relation. Relation is, for me, a basic tenet for understanding how collaboration between ideas and entities might occur. It also acts as a guide for interpreting and making tangible my own patterns of thought and logic. I use the idea of speculative collaboration as a framework to expose, deconstruct or reconfigure physical and conceptual systems - especially those relating to ecology. 

These systems and “exercises” take on forms including installation, sculpture, sound, drawing, electronics, video and performance. Each ponders the role of agency, both active and passive, in co-creating an event or phenomenon. I am interested in complicating viewers’ own understanding of their proximity to and participation in the systems and cycles reflected in my work and subsequently at larger societal and ecological scales. These complications or moments of tension between living things, objects and space serve as a catalyst for interrogating the very conditions responsible for the glitch. My work and research probe historical events and pop culture (future history) for insight into what I think of as “relational glitches,” or ruptures in empathy. 

Barhaugh-Bordas

Paloma Barhaugh-Bordas is an artist living and working in Rochester, New York. Originally from Denver, Colorado, she received a BA in liberal arts from Carleton College in Northfield, MN, and an MFA in Printmaking at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. Paloma’s work adapts and appropriates the vernacular of the many regions she’s called home and traces the self-conscious search for cultural roots as a first-generation American.

I construct landscapes that situate who I am in relation to where I am. My work, spanning print media, begins with photographs and drawings, often of plants, especially the houseplants that have traveled with me over the past decade, which have grown twisted and gnarled, recording in their own way the geographies we both have occupied. Houseplants provide a link to nature in one’s intimate space, but are at the same time a sort of ecological colonialism. Like my plants, I am connected to my origins even in a foreign land, a fact which may only be visible to those who look like me or share my experience.

Jennifer Jolly

Jennifer Jolly researches the intersection of art and politics in modern Mexico.  She specializes in the work of the Mexican muralists, and has recently published on the work of David Alfaro Siqueiros and Josep Renau at the Mexican Electricians’ Syndicate.  Broader research interests include understanding the Muralists within the context of international politics of the 1930s, the intersections of art and technology, and race and representation.  Her book, Creating Pátzcuaro, Creating Mexico: Art, Tourism, and Nation Building under Lázaro Cárdenas, investigates the art--murals, sculptures, and their architectural settings--commissioned by Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacan, Mexico, as part of a program of tourism development and national integration. Research for this project has been supported by a Fulbright and NEH Fellowship.  The book was awarded the Whitaker Best Book Prize from the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies (MACLAS) and the 2020 Best Book in Latin American Visual Culture Studies from the Visual Culture Section of the Latin American Studies Association.