Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

Document Type



In this study, I examine and theorize AMD&ART, an artwork devoted to treating polluted water in Vintondale, PA. AMD&ART is much more than simply a water treatment facility, however. Each chapter of this document examines AMD&ART through the lens of a different body of scholarly literature: the literature associated with land art, Systems Theory, Network Theory, Companion Specieshood and others. The theoretical focus of this paper is the emergent importance of the concept of performativity—“that reiterative power of discourse to produce the phenomena that it regulates and constrains” (Butler, Bodies 2)—in the deconstruction of the binary division of “nature” and “culture.” I offer AMD&ART as an example of a site wherein the fraught, complex webs of affect muddle the easy division of nature from culture. To this end, my paper argues that Bruno Latour’s compound-term “natureculture” can afford scholars of performance points of access to other, disparate fields: philosophy, natural history, geography and art, to name a few. Beyond this, readers are asked to consider their role in the unfolding of the world around them—both mundane and spectacular.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Bowman, Michael S.

Included in

Communication Commons