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Art and Ecological Crisis: Planetary Consciousness in Practice

Mounting evidence of human-caused changes to planetary processes and the natural matter of the Earth, which have escalated in recent decades to an unprecedented level, may also be taken as a renewed opportunity to put an awakening planetary consciousness into practice.

The ramifications of climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, air and water degradation, as well as noise and visual pollution, have also accelerated the expansion of ecological thought, capitalist-critical lifestyles and creative practices that propose alternatives. This seminar examines how contemporary art not only comments on current debates around the growth-oriented economy and its effect on the natural world, social inequality and its relation to climate change, the technocratic paradigm and forms of political power, but also decisively contributes to bringing about genuine change. It also offers a forum to explore points of connection between global and planetary consciousness, indigenous knowledge and scientific culture, as well as multi-species and human solidarity.

The seminar is based on reading and analysis of selected texts from a recent flourishing of environmental literature, as well as classical ecological writings, and discussion of the applicability of their insights for contemporary art. Equally, it considers artistic and curatorial case studies that are exemplary in producing integral ecological consciousness and putting planetary ethics into practice.

A number of free places are available for the seminar group and those wishing to participate are invited to send a short motivation letter to the organisers. The group will meet at Translocal Institute on alternate Mondays beginning on 12 October 2015.

The seminar Art and Ecological Crisis: Planetary Consciousness in Practice is led by Drs Maja and Reuben Fowkes and organised in cooperation with the Department of Art Theory and Curatorial Studies at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts as part of Translocal Institute’s Experimental Reading Room project 2014-16. The Experimental Reading Room creates a space to interact, experiment, learn and dream our way to a new orientation towards ecological consciousness in contemporary art and society. Based around a parallel program of lectures by prominent international thinkers and thematic study circles, the project is designed to engender the self-production of socially-embedded, theoretically-informed and practically-oriented knowledge in the vital field of art and ecology.

Supported by:



Ecological Futures: Contemporary Art and Anthropocene Studies

Art and Ecological Crisis: Planetary Consciousness in Practice

What's Left of Nature: Reconnecting Art and Wilderness

Art in the Age of the Anthropocene



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