Change Reference #1

The Lagoon Cycle, by Helen and Newton Harrison, is a portable 350 ft long mural containing fifty sections of examining processes and linkages between food production and watersheds. It contains photographs, collage, performance, and poetry, and investigates the land use along the Pacific Rim. Matilsky (1992) writes, “Lagoon Cycle is a personal and philosophical journey, beginning with observations on the life of a small crustacean and ending with prophesies of global warming.”

The images and rich verses have an epic storytelling atmosphere which create symbolic metaphors and narratives of space through the visuals. These show the significance of solving community ecological issues because “their art uses metaphor to examine the fragility of the earth’s web of life.”  A “Lagoon maker” and a “witness” are two characters within this narrative and make up the framework for ecological argument later on. “Beginning in Sri Lanka with an edible crab and ending in the Pacific with the greenhouse effect, it seeks ever-larger frames for a consideration of survival. It looks at experimental science, the marketplace and megatechnology, finally posing the question, “What are the conditions necessary for Survival” and concluding that it is necessary to reorient consciousness around a different database.”

The piece details the rich ecosystem and processes involved in a lagoon creating an epic story with metaphors that reference the importance of conservation and reference climate change. The rich imagery itself shows a need to protect such a beautiful environment.

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