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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Becoming Aware, an installation created with cotton thread, crochet handicraft, and honey bee imagery, critiques the industrial farming method of monoculture. The crocheted fabric's large-scale demonstrates the unnatural cultivation of a monoculture such as cotton. Repetitive handmade stitches mimic the mechanization and standardization of conventional agriculture practices that parallel the industrialization of manufactured goods. Becoming Aware's stitches gradually separate and the fabric distorts representing the destructive social, economic, and environmental elements of contemporary agriculture. Conventional growing methods, mass-production, and consumption of cotton require large amounts of chemicals and other resources that are harmful to surrounding ecosystems. Monocultures destroy local biodiversity, and many of these large crop fields require pollination assistance from managed honey bees. Images of honey bees and their hives are embedded into the fabric as they are crucial elements to the success of these monocultures. In the process of pollination management, honey bees are exposed to a multitude of stressful conditions that threaten their existence. Honey bees and hives topple one after the other throughout the transforming fabric. The purpose of this work is to become aware of humanity's increasing disconnection and alienation from the nonhuman environment. A balanced relationship must be restored with the natural world before our support system unravels and collapses. The fate of the honey bee is a telling predictor of how our actions are affecting the very fabric of our future health and well-being.
Access is limited to the campuses of the University of Missouri.