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Practice Workshop

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

Art Practice as Ethnographic Research and Green Thinking

When I saw the list of our practice workshops, I chose Eiko's Green Thinking without hesitation. I was so surprised that there was a workshop that so close to the topic that I was doing.

Workshop 1

NOTE: Artist List


Artist Placement Group

John Larson

Francis Alÿs: Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing (1997)

Susan Hiller: From the Freud Museum (1991-6)/ Channels (2013)

Allan Sekula: Tsukiji (2001)

Lindsay Seers

Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Walled Unwalled

Kyohei Sakaguchi

Signe Lidén: Dark Ecology (2016)

Starting with an object

In the first workshop, Eiko used several artists' works to show their different research or making methods. She encouraged us to find sources else from the internet or book.

In the afternoon session, Eiko asked us to find an object to introduce with the group members. Due to I just picked up the cut plastic panels from the wood workshop, then I chose it to introduce in a whim. It did not mean anything special to me, therefore I think this is the best condition that excluding any subjective over-explanation. Later, Eiko told us to research the related information of the object we chose and I did not realise about this before. However, she suggested me to find the producing process and history of plastic. I was inspired by this point because I remembered the wasted material produced in my final project of the foundation course. I could go and search for the connection between the art work's material and pollution.

Olafur Eliasson's Ice Watch was the focusing point of this research, I wanted to know the social reflections to this work, relating to the carbon footprint of the artwork.

Through this research, I learned that the majority of the carbon footprint in the art world is mainly produced in the transfer process. The events like exhibitions and art fairs usually require large vehicles to transfer as well as using disposable containers. Artist as a job in the society, it is normal to produce carbon footprint in the daily work; hence, apart from this part, the actual pollution is occurring in transportation. I believe it is an extraordinary point to excavate into it and there are some questions left.



  1. Decker, J. (2014). Gyre: the plastic ocean. London: Booth-Clibborn.

  2. American Crafts Council. Museum of Contemporary Crafts. (1968). Plastic as plastic. New York: The Museum.

  3. Hannula, M. Griffiths, G. Kölhi, K. Suoranta, J. and Vadén, T. (2005). Artistic research: theories, methods and practices. Helsinki: Academy of Fine Arts.

  4. Art Basel. (2019). The Carbon Footprint of Contemporary Art. [video]. Available at:


  1. Judah, H. (2018). Was Olafur Eliasson Bringing 30 Icebergs to London a Sustainability Own Goal?. [online]. Frieze. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  2. Yalcinkaya, G. (2018). Olafur Eliasson installs giant blocks of glacial ice across London. [online]. dezeen. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  3. The Art Story. (unknown). From Monet to Rauschenberg: Pollution In Art Through The Decades. [blog]. The Art Story Blog. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  4. Nechvatal, J. (2015). Art review of Olafur Eliasson's Ice Watch Paris. [pdf]. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  5. Wei Jenny. (2016). Acrylic sheet process. [video]. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  6. Artichoke. (2018). Art of Change and Olafur Eliasson’s Ice Watch: “Art has great potential for changing the world”. [blog]. Artichoke. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  7. Daly, N. (unknown). The Haunting Art of Plastic Pollution. [online]. National Geographic. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  8. White, A. (2015). The artists turning acts of pollution into works of art. [online]. Huck. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  9. Gerlis, M. (2019). How do art fairs contribute to the climate crisis?. [online]. FT. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  10. Harris, G. (2019). Antony Gormley criticises huge carbon footprint of the art world—but admits he is part of the problem. [online]. The Art Newspaper. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  11. Balzer, D. (2017). The Carbon Footprint of Art. [online]. Canadian Art. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  12. Dis Magazine. (unknown). The Carbon Footprint of the Art world. [online] Dis Magazine. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  13. Wise, L. (2019). Antony Gormley interview — the Angel of the North sculptor on his blockbuster Royal Academy show. [online]. The Times. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  14. Klyukin, V. (2018). I'm using art to highlight the plague of plastic waste which is killing our planet. [online]. Independent. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020]

  15. Serota, N. (2018). The arts have a leading role to play in tackling climate change. [online]. The Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 27 Jan. 2020]

Workshop 2

In the second workshop, Eiko led us to find resources outside the school for making the outcome of this workshop. We went to the bank of Thames River and I found many objects are very interesting, though not a lot of them I can use as the material to make work. What I got are two empty plastic bottles.

My idea of the outcome was to make a performance that holding a medical infusion bag that written "solution" on it in one hand and pointing the needle to the air in another, to represent the first-aid to the climate. In the meantime, there are some wasted empty bags on the ground, implying that humans have tried so many solutions but in the end, they all got side-effects to the environment. Due to the time limitation and struggling on whether I should use the actual material or not, I decided to make a sample by the bottles. After we back to college, I made two collages to represent my idea first. This action gave me another perspective to see the outcome. In Joseph Kosuth's One and Three Chair, he used three different forms to show the "chair", despite the viewers received three pieces of information of the chair mentally, what was the difference between them and how did the viewers feel differently? Back to the idea in Unit 1, The Language of Art, if I put a description, a drawing piece and a three-dimensional piece together, can they tell the same idea? Is there any perceptional difference? Maybe that is a good point to work on.

Workshop 3



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