"Living with our toxic legacy": parafictional practice and the national toxic land/labor conservation service

Update item information
Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Fine Arts
Department Art & Art History
Author Sussi, Joseph Michael
Title "Living with our toxic legacy": parafictional practice and the national toxic land/labor conservation service
Date 2017
Description The way in which land is used and developed by the United States government has recently, over the past decade, become a topic of interest to individual artists and collectives. The National Toxic Land/Labor Conservation Service (NTLCS) is one such collective that tracks government funded greenwashing projects. The agency's project consists of an ongoing website where it publishes site visits to government-operated animal refuges and active nuclear energy facilities. In this paper, I argue that the NTLCS's ongoing initiative to track, locate, and disseminate information concerning the United States' involvement in greenwashing projects is an effort to critique established historical narratives of the Cold War and its aftermath. In particular, this paper looks at how the NTLCS defines itself as a "wishful government agency" by discussing parafiction as an artistic practice. Parafiction is defined here as an intentional performance of simulating fiction as fact. Parafiction has become a powerful tool for artists involved in institutional critique as a performative act of parody and subversion. In many cases, the performative act may go unnoticed as fiction. In such a case, the viewer is led to believe the performance is real. This friction between fiction and fact proposes the possibility of alternative realities to the one in which we currently live. By imitating the rhetoric of government agencies, the NTLCS seeks to expose the lack of transparency of the United States government on issues of greenwashing and the ongoing effects of our toxic legacy. Greenwashing is a process of labeling a project as being eco-conscious when in reality, the project has minimal benefits to the environment. When a company or government exerts more effort on the image of being "green" than actually implementing an ecological perspective, one would consider it to be greenwashing. The NTLCS proposes the alternative to the current state of irresponsibility of our toxic heritage by placing the responsibility on itself and the public.
Type Text
Publisher ProQuest Dissertations Publishing
Subject contemporary art; greenwashing; national wildlife refuge; parafiction; performance art; toxicity
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Arts
Language eng
Rights Management ©Joseph Michael Sussi
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s6f23401
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2018-07-09
Date Modified 2020-01-23
ID 1347656
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6f23401
Back to Search Results