Land, Art: a Cultural Ecology Handbook presents a compendium
of texts, dialogues and collaborations by and among ecologists, economists,
cultural theorists, activists and art writers that extend from the notions
of land, cultural production and the emergencies of 21st century.
Reproductions of existing artworks by and original contributions from
international practitioners - as well as artists on-the-page `studio
visits', for example - explore art's varied modes of response - from
detached crisis commentaries to engaged activist solutions.
The publication exists within the time frame of a fragmentary genealogy of
`land' (and what has been understood by `the environment') since the 1960s,
when the term was evoked in culture through the activities of so-called
`Land Artists' and those working in novel ways within natural contexts. At
this time too a new, popular environmental consciousness began to emerge
(an axis marked by the publication of Rachel Carson's incendiary Silent
Spring (1962), through the first photograph of Earth from space (1968) to
the first Earth Day in 1970).
Today's interdisciplinary understandings of ecology, however comprehend a
complex set of relations that go way beyond environmentalism and, for
instance, its historical fixation with wilderness conservation. Likewise,
art has radically diversified and globalised from an inherited notion of
landscape, becoming concerned with, for example, areas as varied as
corporate capital, politics, technology, utopian communities, industrial
agriculture, tourism, ethnic and social justice in the process.
LAND, ART ... proposes and tests if and how our current conception of art
and artists is relevant to the urgent territory of accountability and
sustainability, and where, how and why art might operate - at the `grass
roots', at a tangent, as propaganda, as resistance, etc.