[ISEA2017] Paper: Leon Cmielewski, Julianne Pierce & Josephine Starrs — And the earth sighed: a case study


Keywords: Climate, Land, Landscape, Sea, Seascape, Tipping Point, Solostalgia, Video, Installation, Drone.

A tipping point is a critical threshold at which a tiny change can dramatically alter the state of development of a system tipping past a point of no return. Exploring these thresholds through artworks provides an experience for the audience that encourages engagement and contemplation on the catastrophic effects of climate change. Human beings form bonds with the landscape in which they live, but losing a surrounding landscape while we still live in that same place creates a form of homesickness for which we had no word until recently. A new term was coined by Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht (2005) after interviewing citizens living in farming areas surrounded by encroaching coalmines. The term “Solastalgia” means an emplaced or existential melancholia experienced with the negative transformation of a loved home environment. “Solastalgia is a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at ‘home’”. This state of mind is being reflected in a new global genre of artworks. “and the earth sighed” is an immersive media art installation that re-imagines the relationship between nature and culture by presenting aerial views of landscapes dynamically manipulated in ways that reveal their underlying fragility. The artists filmed landscapes and seascapes using drone technology and used post production techniques to create large-scale visual and sound environments.

  • Leon Cmielewski is an Adjunct Fellow at the School of Humanities and Communications Arts at Western Sydney University, Australia.  starrscmielewski.com
  • Josephine Starrs is a Honorary Academic at the University of Sydney, Australia josephinestarrs.com
  • Julianne Pierce, Australia. Executive Producer of Blast Theory from 2007 to 2012, based in Brighton in the UK. She is currently Creative Producer at The Art Engineers who specialise
    in producing unique ‘theatrical adventures’ that cross art forms.

Full text (PDF) p. 378-381