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Bethany Morgan


I am exploring the issue of the world's fresh water supply as a subject for artistic intervention. Social engagement, community-based public art, and socially responsible economic development all serve as cornerstones for a growing practice of cross-disciplinary art. In a world where one in six people lacks access to clean drinking water, art may be able to raise awareness, present criticisms, and blur boundaries by engaging the public, increasing understanding, and correcting global water contamination. Such practices provoke international attention and verify the need for more people with different approaches and investments in social and environmental issues to tackle the worldwide water problem. Global water concerns have been a priority for the United Nations, and rightly so, considering that water has been commercialized with a high price-tag and that inaccessibility and contamination in both urban and rural parts of the world contribute to growing mortality rates. Globally, the public is never sure of corporate motivations; artistic engagement often addresses such concerns, making it a strikingly attractive vehicle for drawing public attention. While accountability to communities or long-term sustainability may matter differently for artists than for public agencies, all forms of organized activism should be pursued. Artists such as Jackie Brookner, Natalie Jeremijenko, and John Todd are but three of a much larger group who can provide case studies for my research. My work draws upon several disciplines, among them fine arts, design, and ecology. I believe that my study sheds greater light on the subject of artistic activism and its relevance in international affairs with regard to a very current and globally pressing problem.

SECTOR C: Art Practice and Technology

ADVISERS: Orkan Telhan (FNAR) | Michael Leja (ARTH)