Friday, January 15, 2021

Fresh publication: "The Verge" - Article on Meta-Method for Collaborative Sense-Making - Applied to Just Sustainability Arts

Note: There is a launch party on January 22, 2021 for this publication, contact Dr. Marna for the information.

It's a pleasure to have this research paper, co-authored with Rachel Kippen, published by Artizein this month. We explore a creative process for collaborative sense-making using arts based methods, and how this approach helped us each deepen in understanding our own just sustainability arts research projects. Kudos to Editor Barbara Bickel and Guest Editor Darlene St. Georges: 

Two sustainability arts scholars describe a method of data interpretation they developed for making sense of complex environmental and sustainability education research data. They “played” images and recorded a conversation in a form of arts-based intersubjective knowing. The card game process was named the Verge because of how the process promises to surface unheard voices and re-center nondominant insights and ways of knowing. It leverages Casey’s glance method with systems networks to complicate sense making in arts-based educational research. The arts scholars intermixed research data from two just sustainability education research case studies: collages from participants of a climate justice social incubator as well as participant art from place-based ecojustice walking pedagogy research. The article engages in intersubjective responding and generated arts-based responses to the process itself. The Verge catalyzed insight in the researchers’ just sustainability arts educational research. They suggest that the Verge could be a useful research method for arts-based educators, particularly sensitive to the ecological and social justice dimensions of data and learning contexts. The researchers found the method helped them gain insight and perspective, sense bias, make subtle connections, sense patterns, decenter domination discourses, and enhance their capacity to engage creatively and critically with social and ecological intelligence in their research process. They posit that the Verge can nurture the unfinished and ongoing work of educational design for just sustainabilities.

Here is a visual and a poem from the synthesis part of the work: 


On the Verge


Intersubjective Responding Poem, written by Marna Hauk


nexus of the broken, crazed and braised curation:

knots and nodes explode us out of broken boxes.


verging, the insistence to connect - no, really the break

ing through of the underlying nettlings and mats


imbricating vats of vast connecting. the ribbon works of “fractured seeing” *

are ley lines re-announcing possibilities, the subversive truth


that “what we need / is here. And we pray: not / for new earth

or heaven, but to be / quiet in heart, and in eye / clear.” **


tendrilled rupture of our hallucinated isolation

returning us to intricate netting, nesting, nestling.


this living world of whorled amanuensis, fractal wholes:

whether in a circle, under shade of rowan and walking onion,


or in circles on sand, weaving reclaimed plastic, we touch in

to the greater weavings, through weft of flocks and stones,


warp of stories and names, resurrecting bones, across great spans of time,

dedicated to create sanctuary, for the flourishing of future beings.


“We seek not rest but transformation.

We are dancing through each other as doorways.

We are ripples crossing and fusing, journeying and returning.” ***


let our walking, shaking, slaying of chains and remains

forge a greater quaking, realign the sublime subterranean snaking


until, amplified, returning to the verge of becoming, to ground and body,

we can forever sense earth tendrils and human hands, connecting us to justice.

just us, quivering, in this queer, deep belly invitation to matter, as we embrace

this umbilical, rooted, radical, cloud-weaving, evanescent, essential net-web-braid.


          * Jeanine Canty, 2017, from “Seeing Clearly Through Cracked Lenses”

          ** Wendell Berry, 1985, from “The Wild Geese”

          *** Marge Piercy, from “Circling,” Living in the Open, p. 83


Recommended Citation

Hauk, Marna, & Kippen, Amanda Rachel. (2020). The Verge: Networks of intersubjective responding for just sustainability arts educational research. Artizein: Arts and Teaching Journal, 5(1) , Article 11.  Retrievable from 

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