Currently, Maria Whiteman is a Visiting Fellow as the Artist in Social Practice at the Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington. Whiteman’s art practice explores themes such as art and science, environmentalism and ecology, global warming and climate change. Maria’s work continues to engage in the relationships between industry, natural energy, community and nature, and the place of animals in our cultural and social imaginary. In addition to her studio work, she conducts research in contemporary art theory and visual culture. Maria has published critical texts in Public: Art/Culture/Ideas, Minnesota Review and Antennae and an essay on Visual Culture in the John Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, Sustaining The West (2014) and Catalyst (forthcoming 2016). In 2011, Whiteman attended the Caetani Culture Artist in Residence FRESH AIR! Okanagan, Vernon, BC, Alberta May-June 2015. In November, 2015 Co-organizing "After BioPolitics" The SLSA Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, Keynotes (Mark Dion and Vinciane Despret) Houston, Texas. She has also been selected as a recipient of the Visiting Scholar Lynette S. Autrey Fellowship 2015-2016. In March of 2016 "Touching" will be exhibited in the Urban Video Project “Between Species,” Curated by Anneka Herre at Syracuse University, New York. “Walker,” Curated by Angela Ellsworth, presented at the Museum of Walking, Tempe, Arizona, March 2016. Whiteman's “Mountain Pine Beetle and Roadside Kestrel” most recent video/photography work will be premiered at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival and Rice Media Centre, Houston, TX, Nov 2014.
In the Air is a project that brings together Art and Philosophy by looking at our contemporary environments through ecology of air, oil and wildlife. In the Air combines still images and text incorporating quotes by Luce Irigaray from The Forgetting of Air in Martin Heidegger and Elemental Passions. Both books speak to philosophers of the past by inserting the elements (air and water) as a way to discuss what is essential to being alive (i.e., breath) in order to think about consciousness and being in the world. This work engages in questions around how we coexist with other sentient beings in this world of climate change and global warming and the ecological transitions that form from our coexistence. I’m not interested in speaking about sustainability but rather about how oil and wildlife are interwoven into a system that simultaneously exists in the environments we live.