099 Art and Sustainability in the Anthropocene

Building Bridges: New Points of Intersection Between Art and the World
Thursday, July 13, 2017: 9:00 AM-10:45 AM
Turnbull Room (University of Glasgow)
The Anthropocene refers to the indelible and destructive impact human beings have had on the Earth’s ecosystems. There has been a lack of consensus among scientists regarding the date of its inception, although we are moving closer to confirmation.  However, as Australian scientist Jeremy Baskin states, “The Anthropocene does not need to be an object of scientific inquiry by geologists and stratigraphers, or even a formally-recognized geological epoch, in order to have an impact.“[i] In art as in other spheres outside the sciences, the concept is here, and there are attitudes towards nature associated with it that can be recognized in current artistic production, ranging from stewardship of nature to the idea of planetary management. This session invites papers on the full range of those perspectives and how they manifest in art and art institutions. Papers might include analyses of the effectiveness of addressing sustainability and climate change within the context of the art world, and whether such issues remain encapsulated if encountered there. Must an artist also be a political activist to have an impact, or can an effective work be primarily aesthetically driven? What are some of the criteria we might use to gauge effectiveness? Does the art need to propose a solution to a specific environmental problem or is raising awareness a sufficient goal? Case studies regarding contemporary art dealing are welcome.

[i] Jeremy Baskin, “The Ideology of the Anthropocene: Paradigm Dressed Up as Epoch,” Environmental Values, 24 (The White Horse Press), 2015, 12.

Discussant :
Julie Reiss
Art, Climate, and the Space in between
Melissa Fleming, Independent Artist
Art, Theory, Anthropocene
Martha Schwendener, NYU
Future Fossils: Plastiglomerates in the Age of Capital
Weiyi Chang, University of British Columbia
Art in the Anthropocene: The Digital Decay of Material Ecologies
Patrizia Costantin, Manchester School of Art