Ritual of Return
December 9, 2021
Intro to Ecological Arts + Justice Class Exhibition, UCLA DMA
Ritual of Return is a multimedia installation that creates a space for epistemological transformation, one that reincorporates a human sense of kinship with our fellow creatures and seeks to remediate the deep psychic alienation caused by our self-imposed separation from the natural world. Using immersive video of leaves, insects, and earth overlaid with live video of the viewers themselves, Ritual of Return offers viewers the opportunity to experience themselves as embedded within the ecologies and environments they inhabit. In this way, the installation seeks to complicate the relationship between subject and object, human and non-human, and culture and nature. A penetrative soundscape of stretched sonic material prompts transformation, while the interior voids of bold chrysalis-like sculptures hanging from the gallery ceiling hold space for potential metamorphosis.
The artwork created in Ritual of Return was made collaboratively in the Fall of 2021 by the eleven UCLA students enrolled in DESMA 160-3: Introduction to Ecological Arts + Justice, a course whose central proposition is that to address the urgent issues of ecological crisis and environmental injustice, it is required to engage in collective thought and action from a myriad of disciplines and perspectives. Students hailing from Design Media Arts, Environmental Science, Biology, and Public Policy worked in collaborative fashion to produce Ritual of Return in an effort to train in collaborative practice. The artwork the students created is based on extensive scientific and artistic research. During this course, we embarked in an experimental fashion, with a goal of working collaboratively to create an artwork whose scale is beyond what any of us could have created individually. While challenging, we chose to act in this way because such collective work is what is required to meet the challenges of climate crisis and environmental injustice.
Experimental Digital Arts (EDA)
Broad Art Center, room 1250
240 Charles E Young Dr N,
Los Angeles, CA 90095