Nnenna Okore

Exploring concepts related to waste, bioplastic and ecology as a means of generating learning, artistic experience and sustainable living.

PhD candidate

  • Nnenna Okore

Supervisors

Partner organisation

  • Creative Victoria

Can humans leave an ecological footprint to delight in, not lament on?

William McDonough

My research project focuses on the creative use of food-based bioplastic to generate learning, creative experience, and ecological awareness. Drawing on different creative practices, new materialist and African animist theories, plus a call-and-response methodology, my research provokes generative thinking about materialist practices with waste, while activating human and nonhuman subjects as a means to extend my material practice with waste and bioplastic.

To achieve this, I examine forms of activism that consider, problematize, and use waste in promoting critiquing the global waste conditions. I, however, go a step further by activating dialogue, participation, and exchange, through a call-and-response interaction between human, nonhuman, and material agencies. My goal is to arouse inter/intra-activities that alternate between my bioplastic materials, the creative processes, and human and nonhuman participants, informed by African animist approaches and Western approaches to new materialist thinking.

Furthermore, coming to the research as an artist, teacher and researcher, my call-and-response approach helps me to navigate complex relationships between artmaking, materialist practice and social engagements, while at the same time interweaving conversation, collaboration, and pedagogy between theoretical materials, artworks, human and nonhuman involvement in my practice. In working and thinking with waste, I form new kinships with human and nonhuman agencies in ways that gives agency to co-actors, while evoking other ways of responding to the ecological problem of waste. The call-and-response method gives my research a unique way of extending new materialist practice.