The eco-arts blogosphere has kept simmering through the early summer. Greenmuseum.blog, connected to the excellent online environmental resource and exhibition space Green Museum, has taken on a new look. The blog had recently covered the Earth Matters on Stage EcoDrama Symposium, held at the University of Oregon. Mike Lawler’s EcoTheatre blog also provided coverage of EMOS. Ecoartspace has been blogging from the Seattle Public Arts Conference, the theme of which this year was Renewable Resources: Arts in Sustainable Communities.
Over at Sustainability and Contemporary Art, Maja and Ruben Fowkes have been blogging about the Hard Realities and New Materiality Symposium, which took place at Central European University recently. Antennae magazine has an interview with the Fowkes in which they discuss the sustainability of contemporary art, the ethics vs. the aesthetics of form, Felix Guattari’s ‘three ecologies,’ and other topics. Some of the Fowkes’ writings, including Unframed landscapes: Nature and Contemporary Art and Towards the Ecology of Freedom, can be found at Translocal.org. (Some of these overlap with issues I discussed in my piece Sustainable vision from the 2004 Natural Grace exhibition catalogue; you can find a brief overview of the environmental and eco-art movements there.)
Smudge has been blogging about the massive LAND/ART exhibition/project in New Mexico. In many ways, land art reflects an earlier moment in the evolution of ecological art, one premised on making statements in wild or open landscapes, but much of what’s presented in this exhibition goes well beyond that, for instance, to the documentation, questioning, and interrogation of land uses in their social, perceptual, and ecological contexts. Among the events is an Experimental Geography exhibition, featuring The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Trevor Paglen, and others. See the CLUI’s database of unusual and exemplary sites — which range from nuclear and industrial accident sites and weapons plants to tourist caves, ghost towns, and UFO sites across the U.S. — to get an idea of what this unusual ‘research organization’ does. Artist and “experimental geographer” Paglen‘s work on “black sites” — secret military landscapes and other “blank spots on the map” — has even gotten him onto the Colbert Report; see his media page for articles, reviews, and videos. Paglen writes about Experimental Geography over at Brooklyn Rail, while Rhizome provides a good list of reading materials on the topic. See also art:21’s interview with EG curator Nato Thompson.