Confronting gold mine acid drainage : art as counter-activity

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Swanepoel, Pieter en
dc.contributor.advisor Grobler, Nicola en
dc.contributor.postgraduate Kritzinger, Louise en
dc.date.accessioned 2013-09-07T11:38:48Z
dc.date.available 2013-08-27 en
dc.date.available 2013-09-07T11:38:48Z
dc.date.created 2013-04-11 en
dc.date.issued 2013-08-27 en
dc.date.submitted 2013-08-23 en
dc.description Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2013. en
dc.description.abstract Environmental art: Art relating to the individual’s response, understanding and interest towards the land, including art forms such as Land/Earth art as well as more sensitive art forms such as Eco-art, focussed more on the earth’s natural processes. Exploitation: The exploitation of mineral resources is closely associated with progress and success, but also that of benefiting from something at the cost of something else, in this case exploiting gold at the cost of the ecology of the natural environment. Gold mining industry: The labour-intensive activity of removing gold from ore, mined from deep within the earth’s crust through a system of shafts and stopes. Installation art: Refers to what is contested as being a medium or process of art, whereby three-dimensional works are designed to influence the perception of a space, often site-specific, within an enclosed space or the outside environment, temporary or permanent. The found object or existing object is often used in installation art for its intellectual value. Inter-and-trans-disciplinary approach: The utilisation and collaboration of different disciplines as a means to find a solution to a (environmental) problem. Landscape: A cultural construct, referring not to physical topography, but to an aesthetically processed vision of the environment, mostly arranged and framed by an artist. Post-industrial environment: Referring to an environment, man-made or natural in a state preceded by industry. Often these environments are characterised as polluted and derelicts sites left behind by large mining industries. The gold-mining industry on the Witwatersrand, is characterised by massive tailings dumps and slimes dams. Resource curse: A term coined by artist Jeannette Unite, describing the phenomenon of extreme poverty co-existing with valuable minerals in the same region, especially prevalent in Africa. Technospasm: A term conceptualised by archeo-metallurgist Duncan Miller, as the unsustainable rate of non-renewable mineral resources extraction. South Africa is known to the world for its vast deposits of valuable minerals, of which gold has played a seminal role in the development of the country’s economy. What is left after more than 120 years of mining for this precious metal is a landscape, better described as a derelict post-industrial environment, characterised by pollution and impoverished communities. Environmental degradation caused by mining industries is not unique to the African continent, but is a worldwide phenomenon. Due to the rapid deterioration of environments caused by mining and industry, new environmentalist attitudes became prevalent by the 1970s in the West, seeking change in attitudes towards the land. Along with earth activists, artists also started to question humankind’s destructive relationship towards the land. Apart from the early developments of Land/Earth art during the 1960s, artists have taken on roles of activists, interventionists and collaborators of multi- and interdisciplinary projects since then, in order to remediate and re-cultivate post-industrial sites. Environmental artists find value in what art holistically contributes to society, as opposed to the commodity value of art. While artists in the West significantly progressed in environmentally orientated art, South African artists focused more on responding to the socio-economic conditions induced by the long-standing Apartheid era. Few South African artists have attempted to engage in environmentally-concerned art, especially related to the mining industry. However, Western attitudes towards the land can be derived from South Africa’s landscape depictions since its colonisation by Europeans up to contemporary versions of the South African landscape environment today. This study provides a historic overview of South Africa’s aesthetic relationship with the mining landscape, specifically of the post-industrial sites situated in the Witwatersrand. The aim is to determine the South African artists’ contribution towards developing an environmental awareness, and to call for more artists to take part in visual art forms concerning the disruption of the environment, caused by the mining industry. The study determines the relevance of art as a means to raise environmental issues and whether art may be utilised for post-industrial remediation projects. International examples of Reclamation art projects and its incorporation of science are investigated to find solutions towards contaminated post-industrial sites. These examples are compared to the work of a small number of South African artists who have attempted to engage in the post-industrial mining environment through Earthworks and science The researcher’s own work is discussed to raise awareness of the adverse effects of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) caused by the gold-mining industry in the Witwatersrand. A body of installation art produced for this degree was displayed in a gallery space, which presented a platform for audience engagement. Through this body of work and through the examples discussed in this dissertation, the researcher urges South African artists to take up the task of moral responsibility towards the environment for the survival of future generations of life on earth. en
dc.description.availability unrestricted en
dc.description.department Visual Arts en
dc.identifier.citation Kritzinger, L 2012, Confronting gold mine acid drainage : art as counter-activity, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://hdl.handle.net/2263/27490 > en
dc.identifier.other F13/4/768/gm en
dc.identifier.upetdurl http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-08232013-181638/ en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/27490
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.rights © 2012 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria en
dc.subject Drainage en
dc.subject Exploitation en
dc.subject Environmental art en
dc.subject Gold mining industry en
dc.subject UCTD en_US
dc.title Confronting gold mine acid drainage : art as counter-activity en
dc.type Dissertation en


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record