Online artist talks Saturday, March 13 @ 7:00 PM
Recording available here: vimeo.com/ricemediacenter
On view at Emergency Room Gallery
Sewall Hall, room 402
March 12-19, 2021
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
A serious and pervading infestation by the ectoparasite Homo sapien has taken hold of our planet. The symptoms include widespread decay of organic tissue, tracts of scarred, barren land, irregular coloration of bodies of water, unprecedented waste build up, and overall dysfunction and failure of vital ecological processes. Kyle casts a critical eye on humanity’s collective ineptitude to prioritize conservation in a world where anthropogenic effects are dramatically shaping our future. Through satirical sculptural works, grotesque photographs, and a cacophonous audio track, Kyle exposes exploitation and disregard of our planet by juxtaposing mechanical forms with biomorphic abstraction.
According to the EPA, the average American produces over 2,000 pounds of trash a year. When considering how many individuals live in a household, community, or city, this number rapidly reaches absurdity. One would think it is difficult to ignore this mass accumulation of waste, but the institutions we are a part of have successfully normalized it.
Photographed are the overflowing bags of a dumpster near the residential building I pass every day. At least once a day this dumpster is emptied and is shortly overflowing again. Due to COVID-19, Rice University moved all dishes, silverware, cups and any other eating utensils to one time use products for health concerns. Despite there being biodegradable options, all of this trash ends up in landfills where it will not successfully decompose due to an anaerobic environment.
An Alternative Death
Humanity has a historical trend of relocating organisms. Animals find themselves on unintentional voyages across seas due to globalized trade. Gardeners and pet owners bring exotics into their households, only for them later find a way out. Foreign animals have been introduced to control crop pests, normally resulting in unexpected consequences as their populations grow unregulated. In many scenarios, these species outcompete native species, often causing disaster in fragile ecosystems.
Photographed is a carcass of a Gemsbok, a species of oryx. This individual is a descendent from oryx introduced from Africa into the Southwestern United States as a game animal. Now naturalized and roaming freely, this Gemsbok became victim to a collision with a car in place of its intended purpose with a bullet.
Anthropogenically caused climate change drives irregular weather patterning and temperature extremes. Global weather patterns are dependent on contrasting temperatures and pressure zones over certain land masses in certain seasons. With dramatic warming of the Arctic, these contrasts are weakened resulting in increasingly catastrophic droughts, heat waves, and freezes.
Photographed is a desert landscape of yucca plants in West Texas encapsulated under a sheet of ice. Although freezes do happen in Texas, extended freezes with precipitation are irregular. As we have seen recently, these freezes can be devastating to our communities. Irregular weather patterning also causes stronger, more frequent hurricanes. Neglecting climate change is not only impacting the native species that have adapted over thousands for a specific environment, but it will drastically affect human activity and survival as well.
This exhibition has been underwritten by the Mavis C. Pitman Endowment and the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts. For more information, please visit www.arts.rice.edu or call 713-348-4882.