Over the last couple of years I have begun writing some of my ideas down in the form of a blog. It started on my art website and mostly related to art-centered ideas and concepts of personal perspective, creativity, finding meaning in life and other such inquiries. The more I wrote, the more I realized that these two burning passions of art and nature were incredibly complementary, and what I wanted to write on my art blog began to expand and bleed into my work as a scientist and geographer. I realized it would make more sense to have a blog that focused on these other concepts which I am also incredibly passionate about. I am currently working on my master’s of science at the United Nations University & the University of Bonn in Bonn, Germany and do a fair amount
of writing and research which does not, at the moment, get published.
In short, the Abstract Atlas is my way of organizing and connecting the work that I do both as a geographer and as an artist. It is somewhat, though not entirely, seperate from my scientific writing and is indeed quite seperate from my physical paintings, but not entirely seperate from the concepts which I use to create them. I want to create a space where information and questions, discussions and ideas can grow, where I can keep track of some of the things that I come across in these two disciplines that I think are worthy of sharing with the world.
This is a blog, of sorts, though to me, it feels like it will become much more than that. Let’s see. The idea is a few years in the making and started, more or less, when I was writing my bachelor’s thesis in 2017. I had begun painting again around this time and it was an enormous help in terms of brainstorming and relaxing after long hours at my computer. When I was writing, my mind was filled with ecological issues related to waste; particularly the production of food waste in the United States, which was, in 2017, around 40% of the food produced (source). When I switched gears and stepped in front of a painting, my mind was still preoccupied with thoughts of waste and ecological impacts. I would stare blankly at the running water in my sink as it turned from the crystal clear water of the Rockies, to a toxic, sour greyish brown as it bubbled down the drain. It felt strange, but it felt like I had no other options. So I started coming up with ways I could avoid dumping these toxic chemical paints into our water supply. You can read about them here:
So here I will post some of my work that I feel compelled to share. It is not officially affiliated with either the UN-EHS or the University of Bonn; but rather is simply some of the work of one of their students. And I hope to use this as a platform not only for one-way information sharing, but to share information with people who might be able to start conversations about our planet with some of us who inhabit it. I will only cite credible peer-reviewed papers as sources for scientific information, but may occasionally reference news articles, when relevant.
In this time as an international student, and throughout my brief time in this world, it has been my experience that we are all caretakers of this beautiful planet on which we live. We all have unique voices and ideas about how to spend on our time here, but we are all brothers and sisters of the same family; we may have different colors of skin, or hair, we might have different mother tongues, but we all speak the language of the earth.
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