Environmental Video Art

Something that I feel is very important is the incorporation of the Earth in the art world, there is a deep connection between humanity and the environment that mothered us. With the abundance of resources our environment gives us, there is ample opportunity for creation.

One of my favourite ways artists have used the environment is through the raw use of the Earth’s natural push and pull (wind). Tim Knowles’ Tree Drawings are my personal favourites. In this series of drawings, Knowles sets up plain white paper within reach of a drawing device attached to the branch of a tree. The tree branch is guided by the spontaneous nature of the wind to create unique and lively drawings. The idea that the artist steps away from doing work and gives a voice to natural elements gives the Earth a voice and a sentimental nod to its unpredictability and change.

Another favourite environmental piece is a video art piece done by the Agricultural artist group Kultivator, titled Dinner with Cows. This video is one of many documentations of a group dinner with humans of all ages, some being toddlers some being elderly, and adult cows. There is not much documented on this piece, however, seeing these cows eat at the same table and from the same plates as humans is quite jarring. Beef consumption is very prominent in many people’s lives, having dinner with an animal most well known to be something humans eat is a humorous yet uncomfortable sight.

Week 4


Research for Arboretum Videos – post on blog and present ideas in class.

Video recording outdoors demo with Nathan


Video editing refresher demo with Nathan

Discuss ideas for videos, work time in studio/ arboretum if needed

Note – Next week will be all work time in arboretum/studio as needed. Videos are due Thursday Oct. 12th for critique.

Week 3


Meet at the lab at 11:30 sharp!

Together we will be walking to the Arboretum nature centre to participate in an environmental conservation activity: Bird Banding with Chris Earley.

Please come dressed for weather and walking, and bring a water bottle and snacks if needed.


Please come to class – we will have a special guest artist: Megan Arnold

See her video – Are We Human, Or Are We Skater

Megan will be showing some of her own work in video – and introducing you to our local video art and media support centre: ED VIDEO


During the final 1. 5 hours of in-class time – please develop loose video art ideas – related to an artist, and environmental subject of your choice. Make a blog post and prepare to discuss your research and ideas in the next class.

Each student will make a blog post that includes some images/drawings/notes as needed – you must include research, images, and reflections on ways you might interpret and respond to the information in a video to be shot in the arboretum, or in controlled, studio conditions. Choose a partner to work with today – but each student will make their own blog post reflecting on the themes and ideas for working.

This research and process notes are the foundation for your video art project. You must have a completed blog post due for show and tell during our next class – where we will be discussing your research, and video art ideas.

Bookstack Nina Katchadourian

Stacking books as an art form is akin to the likes off blackout poetry, in which one would search out prewritten words to form a completely new text. Since my book collection is fairly small and I lend literature to many people, I dug through the University of Guelph’s library to see what stacks I could make. I found this to be a meaningful exercise when using text with limited resources, digging and the art of “hunting and gathering” should be taught in art school.

There were books which targeted my self-esteem and I made an effort to have both me and the books be insulted directly. Very punk.

I dug into a very intimate part of my being and acknowledged my fear of letting go of things I need or crave.

Good question.

I am Generation Z, but broke Millennial’s are still a sad sight to see.

Week 2


Lecture and Upcoming Assignment

Please view the following lecture, and read the upcoming assignment instructions. You will be working as partners in groups of 2 for this project. Read/scan relevant articles linked in the lecture, watch the videos linked, and explore the websites and larger ouevre of artists presented as examples. This should take approximately 1. 5 – 2 hours during class time.

Please respond to the questions below on your blog during the rest of class time today. This should take 30- 45 minutes. Nathan will be available to assist with technicial difficiulties making blog posts.
  1. Follow up with a deeper dive into one of the artists presented in the lecture. Discuss your interest in their ideas and their works by using two examples of their works (they may or may not be included in the lecture, include images in your post). What are some of the strategies they use to make their work? Can you summarize their system/task they assigned themselves in a sentence?
  2. How does the artist you chose respond to nature, creatures, or environmental conditions in their work? What kind of fact-based research did they do to work in the environment? What kinds of ideas and values inform and motivate their work? How do these ideas resonate in their final works?


Book Stacks critique – post work on blog