Date of Degree
MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
Julia A. Leonard
The story of Endless Ceaseless is drawn from my experience of a rural childhood in the Ohio River Valley, and the subsequent destruction of my family's home as part of the expansion of coal mining operations in the area. Rather than mourning the loss of our home as a personal indignity, I sue the difficulty and wonder of a child's perspective to contrast with the environmental degradation I witnessed then and now, which is ultimately the greatest loss, one that connects to the larger narrative of mass extinction. In some ways I see this project as a eulogy for the landbase and all the living things it supports.
Of significance is the commonness of this story. This is a tale that has been unfolding all around the world throughout human history and with greater intensity since the dawn of the Industrial Age. The current mass extinction can be understood in waves. As Homo sapiens sapiens has traveled and settled around the globe beginning 90,000 years ago with the move from the African continent to the Middle East, minor extinction events have accumulated and accelerated into the sixth mass extinction event. There have been three distinct waves: the first came with the development of tools to hunt megafauna, the second with the agricultural revolution, and the third with the industrial revolution. This is the pattern of human activity on the planet.
iv, 10 pages
Copyright 2014 Cody Denae Gieselman