Eliza Solomon, Conversations of / with / in the Confluence [×]
In the west, we name the natural world ‘nature’, and so exclude ourselves from it. This exclusion causes a sense of disassociation from our innate place within the living world. This disassociation is a deep rooted issue within our current ecological crisis. It provoked my intrigue in re-evaluating the dominant and destructive view that humans are the most significant entities on the planet. This process based research aspires to rekindle an ecological curiosity and sensitivity. It is grounded in a relational style of thinking to advocate for more-than-human entities.
'Conversations of / with / in the Confluence' interrogates notions of monumentalising and the socio political potency associated. Traditionally monuments have been focused on the commemoration of someone or something that has lived in the past. They are deeply anthropocentric, predominantly colonial and are often fixed and static in their manifestation. This project ponders on who and what we monumentalise in our community culture, and experiments with how this can be done.
Through a series of site responsive projects I have engaged in gestures of monumentalisation of the Confluence of the Birrarung (Yarra River) and the Merri Creek of Naarm (Melbourne). This now heavily urbanised ecosystem is a junction of ecological networks, both human and more-than-human. Through techniques of framing and interiorisation I have engaged in digital and physical processes that respond to the temporality and sentience of the confluence and its layers of living history. This body of research practices collaboration to foster subjective but shared experiences around the site. This project is the emergence of an expanded spatial practice that can be applied to other urban interiors and communities. It can be measured as a form of gentle activism.