Human Nature

Faculty Sponsor

Liz Wuerffel


Arts and Sciences



ORCID Identifier(s)


Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-4-2017


"Human Nature" focuses on the relationship between the natural and the human realms through the processes of creation and destruction, tension and tranquility, yin and yang. Jenga, a game of stacking blocks, is the main visual element in this video piece. Imagine playing Jenga for a moment. Take out one piece at a time, placing it on top. The tower becomes unsteady. Now imagine the tower is nature. My mind ponders this question of preserving nature throughout this piece.

A course in rural geography offered two views on nature: 1) nature is fragile and needs preserving, and 2) nature is resilient and bounces back. Minor White, one of my influences, was himself influenced by Eastern philosophies. He created images around the concept of “equivalency,” referring to the spiritual energy in an image. I looked to Maya Deren’s film “At Land,” because of her unique way of puzzling clips together seamlessly. Lastly, I looked to Meredith Monk’s audio piece, titled “On Behalf of Nature,” because she approaches ecological awareness with empathy instead of lecturing. All of these artists, myself included, are fascinated with nature and its process. As humans, we do not always treat nature with the respect it deserves. As represented in Jenga, each block we take is then returned continuing the cycle of creation and destruction.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Blake Larson is a senior at Valparaiso University, majoring in digital media art. Asian cultures and philosophies have always interested her. She views each class as an opportunity to learn something new. The concept of balance is her life philosophy and a recurring theme in her work. Future goals include working in the graphic design or photography industries.

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