Sébastien Derenoncourt: Finding Clotilda: Preliminary Investigations: When cultural erasure is accelerated by climate related environmental change, what happens to the stories and memories of the past?
From Timothy Nelson
Finding Clotilda: Preliminary Investigations: When cultural erasure is accelerated by climate related environmental change, what happens to the stories and memories of the past? is an effort to raise awareness of pre-colonial and slavery era sites and artifacts which are being degraded, eroded and erased by the sea level rise and coastal erosion caused by climate change. It is as much about chronicling disappeared communities and disappearing spaces through research-based visual art, as it is about communicating the unique poetics and emotional content of these environments.
Sébastien Derenoncourt is a Haitian interdisciplinary artist who has been living and working in the U.S. for most of his adult life. During his childhood spent in Haiti and West Africa, he witnessed famines caused by the effects of soil erosion and degradation, desertification, severe droughts and coastal erosion. This lived experience has given him an intimate awareness of the effects of manmade climate change and environmental issues, which he brings to his conceptual work. His artistic practice is heavily research-based, and typically anchored in time arts practices such as video, sound and interactive media. He has also had an extensive career in commercial art and professional design; as an art director, creative director and user experience designer. Recently he has been studying the ramification of sea level rise and coastal erosion on the disappearance of historically, archeologically and culturally significant artifacts and geographies of the pre-colonial and colonial Atlantic coast of the United States; specifically the coastal wetlands and swamps which harbored marooned slaves and indigenous peoples.