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In: Meaningful Absence Across Arts and Media

Abstract

As opposed to specific weather situations or spectacular environmental disasters, climate change occurs over long stretches of time, does not surface in small-scale incidents, and thus poses new challenges for artistic representation. A projected eight-play “Arctic Cycle” constitutes Quebec-born playwright Chantal Bilodeau’s artistic response to this central challenge of dramatizing climate change. Sila, Bilodeau’s first “Arctic Cycle” drama, immerses theatre-goers into a complex aestheticized network of life-giving and life-depriving situations and narrative practices that demonstrate how local and global, synchronic and diachronic, as well as material and immaterial phenomena intersect. Mobility in three-dimensional space draws the characters’ experiences together into a meditation on the Inuit concept of ‘sila’ representing the life-giving force of breath and voice. Bilodeau’s second “Arctic Cycle” play, Forward, explores climate change drama aesthetics through highlighting a time span of more than a century. While Forward reiterates central climate-related concerns of Sila and while it also incorporates significant instances of mobility, the play foregrounds a temporal setting that stresses the long-term impact of Norwegian polar exploration of the 1890s and the subsequent development of its fossil fuel industry. The first two plays of the “Arctic Cycle” thus demonstrate various options for representing climate change as a current condition to be contemplated on an extensive scale of space and time within the history of human exploration and exploitation.

In: Green Matters
This volume focusses on a rarely discussed method of meaning production, namely via the absence, rather than presence, of signifiers. It does so from an interdisciplinary, transmedial perspective, which covers systematic, media-comparative and historical aspects, and reveals various forms and functions of missing signifiers across arts and media. The meaningful silences, blanks, lacunae, pauses, etc., treated by the ten contributors are taken from language and literature, film, comics, opera and instrumental music, architecture, and the visual arts. Contributors are: Nassim Balestrini, Walter Bernhart, Olga Fischer, Saskia Jaszoltowski, Henry Keazor, Peter Revers, Klaus Rieser, Daniel Stein, Anselm Wagner, Werner Wolf
In: Meaningful Absence Across Arts and Media
In: Meaningful Absence Across Arts and Media