Samsara Unlimited: Towards an Ecology of Compasssion

by Pillay, Pravintheran

Abstract (Summary)
This paper describes the philosophical and functional framework of the MFA thesis exhibition Samsara Unlimited: towards an ecology of compassion. Samsara Unlimited was designed as a conceptual social artwork that would engage a network of art students and interested participants in developing a collaborative network. Using established high art aesthetics and familiar consumer based signifiers; the gallery was transformed over a week into a production, design and retail facility. In this torqued capitalist micro-system, financial profit was considered critical for the functioning of the system but secondary to the generation of a field of compassion.

The project sought to create a process through which the general public could become familiar with the perceptive processes engaged by artists in reconstructing everyday reality. It was posited that the ability to engage these perceptive processes would potentially lead to an ontological shift in the spectator. Participants who entered the gallery space could alter between the functional reality of a concept store and the altered reality of an art gallery. The public was encouraged to visit over the week of the installation to ask questions, get involved in art making process or simply socialize with the artists and artisans involved in the project.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Nowlin, Tim; Crane, Jennifer; Borsa, Joan; Mullens, James

School:University of Saskatchewan

School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:environmental awareness social change artist activists connective aesthetics consumerism temporary autonomous zones cybernetics compassion ecosystem community based arts institutional critique


Date of Publication:12/11/2006

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