Anthropogenic Anxiety Opening September 22, 2022 - Pam Patterson & Sasha Shevchenko (OCADU), Joanna Black & Sarah Paradis (University of Manitoba)



The recent regulated and confining pandemic years have operated to aggravate already existing anthropogenic anxieties. Climate change – oppressive unpredictable heat waves, uncontrolled forest fires, rising oceans levels – have had an impact on the race that both facilitated it and now roils from its effects. Aggressive urban sprawl bulldozes the land, and we search from among the rubble to find what of “land” remains. In Canada, the colonial project created divisiveness, poverty, and an early death for some, but also vast wealth and proprietorship for others. Can this unsettling situation be unraveled, or have we gone too far?

Anxiety became an oft-experienced emotion in our classrooms – mostly online - at our universities over the last two years. A research team, here represented by Pam Patterson, OCAD University and Joanna Black, University of Manitoba, sought to explore generative potentials found in addressing anthropogenic and Covid-19 anxieties. We worked alongside our students and with community members, galleries, and professional colleagues in a creative investigation. Over 100 people joined to broadly explore in visual mediums, personal narratives of the pandemic and the larger emerging anthropogenic era.  

Here in exhibition alongside each other and paired respectively with students, Sasha Shevchenko, OCAD University  and Sarah Paradis, University of Manitoba, we provide a glimpse into this complex dialogue.

Image: Pam Patterson, Cholera Room, Grosse Isle (two rectangular panoramic images are bathed in red light - above the room is a hospital ward with old iron beds and below is a hallway with a beckoning open door)

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