Swampy: Venice is Flooded!by Tom Estes
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Swampy: Venice is Flooded - Live Art Guerrilla Action as part of 'Bizzare Artist Happenings' with The Biennial Project (as featured by Tate Shots at The 54th Venice Bienniale)
On the 7th of June 2011, the waters of the lagoon rose up and flooded Venice. As the waters rose, a strange creature appeared out of nowhere, and climbed the steps up from the Lagoon and entered the Giardini while the Venice Biennale was taking place...
Through the Live Art Performance 'Swampy', artist Tom Estes attempts to perform a delicate balancing act of two ways of thinking; of the dualism of nature as a destructive force and as a force of renewal; of the environment as intrinsically valuable (valuable in itself,irrespective of human interests) and as instrumentally valuable (valuable in order to achieve particular goals); of nature as 'feminine' and as the male as a potent symbol of fertility. The first kind of value frequently describes using religious language (e.g. "nature as sacred". The second is characterizes in narrow economic terms (e.g. "an object of economic exploitation". It is clear that these two kinds of values can come apart. For example, a piece of nature might be thought to be intrinsically valuable without having any value for humans. As the argument goes, society should aim to balance these two ways of valuing nature, without reducing one to the other.