e c o v e n t i o n

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foreword

section 1: introduction
  getting it built
  land art, earthworks...

section 2: activism...
  direct engagements
  breaking out of the box...
  research centers
  community action

section 3: valuing anew...
  sites and non-sites
  itenerant nature
  agents of perpetual change

section 4: biodiversity...
  habitat architecture
  ocean habitats
  trans-species art
  spying for nature
  species reclamation

section 5: urban infrastructure...
  urban forests
  artist-in-residence
  waste treatment
  sustainable 'hoods

section 6: reclamation...
  watershed management...
  uniting human intellect
  unspoiling soil

section 7: notes

section 8: a short history...

section 9: philosophical statements

section 10: glossary

section 11: critical diversity

greenmuseum.org



ecoartspace


The Contemporary Arts Center

 
 

section 11: critical diversity

Amy Lipton, What exactly is an ecovention?
In the course of co-curating this exhibition with Sue Spaid, we set out to define a new form of art making. In the sometimes overlapping realms of Earthworks, Land Art, Earth Art, Environmental Art, and Ecological Art, we looked for artists whose works literally had a particular transformative effect as an end result. Since all great artworks achieve transformation on some level, we chose to limit our search to art that fell into the following category: an ecovention is defined as an artist's aesthetic invention and/or intervention within the context of an ecosystem. Its aesthetic components may be both visible and invisible, with a primary emphasis on regional site-specific projects that concern restoration, reclamation, renewal and rejuvenation of polluted and damaged wastelands. Our next big concern was to demonstrate how and why this work is defined as art and not science, engineering, landscape design, architecture or eco-activism while at the same time not trivializing those important disciplines whose components might at any stage become part of the work. The key to this change in the viewer's perception is in challenging the predominant value system that determines what an artwork can be.

In this respect, the exhibition reflects my own exploration of the last several years to find artworks that cross the line from traditional art production and institutionalization, into the larger context of human and non-human natural communities. In the late 1990s, after more than a decade of working within the contemporary art world as gallerist, curator, and publicist, I began to have questions regarding my sphere of work. I wondered about the relevance of the art I was seeing, and was faced with a serious dilemma: the planet was deteriorating rapidly, while the prevailing art in galleries and museums was mostly autobiographical and self-referential.
For decades environmentalists have foreseen an impending disaster of immense proportions when the planet becomes truly unable to sustain life. Our basic life support systems of clean water, air and soil continue to diminish at an alarming rate. I wondered why this larger global picture was being overlooked in the art world internationally. Every other pertinent socio-political issue has been addressed within the framework of post-modernist critique. Through the nineties exhibitions focused on AIDS, gender, feminism, identity politics, ethnicity, multi-culturalism, consumerism, the body - these issues were being scrutinized thoroughly. I questioned if our planet's environmental problems were too big for artists to tackle, and why many were still more concerned with an aesthetic of critique or an insular dialogue about art itself. I wanted to see works that were focusing on our relationship with the larger, living eco-system, recognizing that our very existence depends upon its survival.

After some years of research and with great debt to both Barbara Matilsky's groundbreaking 1992 exhibition "Fragile Ecologies" at the Queens Museum in New York, and Heike Strelow's comprehensive "Natural Reality" (1999) at the Ludwig Museum in Germany, I began to see that an alternative vision existed. There is a small yet growing, world-wide movement of artists who are actively at work finding ways to creatively solve ecological problems. They are breaking out of the traditional confines of what is considered art by engaging in real world issues and daring for their art to have a function - thereby calling into question the very framework within which we define art. For years now, writers such as Suzi Gablik and Lucy Lippard have been championing a social role and function for art, rejecting the notion that aesthetics can not serve anything but itself and its own ends.

The purpose of Ecovention is to create public awareness of these innovative and inventive artist solutions taking place all over the world, where many artists have entered into the new scientific field of restoration ecology. They are reaching out across disciplines and helping to bridge the gap between art and life by raising awareness and appreciation of our natural resources. By giving aesthetic form to restored natural areas and urban sites, these artists are engaging in a collaborative process with nature, practicing a socially relevant art. They are helping to create a new paradigm by proving that art can contribute to society as a whole, not merely in the politically correct sense or as a social critique, but rather by participating directly in the world. By focusing on the interrelationships between the biological, cultural, political, or historical aspects of ecosystems, these artists are working to extend environmental principles and practices directly into the community.

By asking fearless questions that no one else thought to ask, these artists in Ecovention are taking on the role of visionaries, working collaboratively with architects, planners, social scientists, biologists, botanists, and communities. The goal for Ecovention is to present these projects as case studies. In this manner we hope that their experiences can provide access and information to those that might be inspired towards making works of their own, paving the way for a whole new kind of art that can help realize needed change in the world. Special thanks to artist Ruth Wallen for sharing her insights with me which were elaborated on in the above essay. Also to Tim Collins for his clarity and information regarding the practice of restoration ecology and to Jackie Brookner who continues to inspire me with her ideas and passion for Eco Art. I would also like to thank the CAC, Charles Desmarais and Sue Spaid for having the courage to take this exhibition, one which truly pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as art in the museum world today. I would also like to thank Suzi Gablik for starting me on this journey in the first place and to all the artists in Ecovention for their vision and commitment to this cause.

Thom Collins, A Note on Ecoventions, Activist Art and Praxis
The philosophers have interpreted the world in various ways; the point however is to change it. — Karl Marx, 18451
If not an outright paradox, Lucy Lippard's operative definition of "activist art," as proposed in her seminal 1984 essay "Trojan Horses: Activist Art and Power," is deeply compromised by a fundamental tension.2 She conceives activist art not as a direct force for real material change, but rather as a process of "communicative exchange," and she brings this criterion to bear on her selection of exemplary projects from recent art history. Presumably, this communicative exchange is initiated and enacted in order to bring about an eventual shift in particular material circumstances and, thereby, political and social change. But this aim receives little attention, the processes by which artistic communicative action translates into material change are described as inefficient, and the outcomes are deemed unpredictable at best. Lippard writes dismissively, "few [activist artists] labor under the illusion that their art will change the world directly or immediately."3

The influence of postmodern theory is distinctly discernible in Lippard's implicit conception of the "act" in "activist" art as a speech act. This construction limits her to a discussion of informational networks, and alphabetic and visual texts as the definitive outcome of this brand of activism. Thus, the subversive potential of artistic activism is restricted to the realm of discourse. Most of the works she discusses in support of her argument are, not surprisingly, conceptually sophisticated agitation-propaganda.

Lippard's definition of activist art locates the practices it designates at some remove from the committed, theorized, strategic, and substantive actions that are identified by the term "praxis." This move highlights the distinction between abstract ideas and their enunciation in spoken/written/visual texts, on the one hand, and principled practical activity, on the other, and returns this discussion to the very roots of the historical debate about the nature and significance of praxis: Aristotle's writings on ethical life.

Briefly put, Aristotle argued that all human enterprises might be understood as either theoretical or practical. His classification system has been usefully summarized: The purpose of a theoretical discipline is the pursuit of truth through contemplation; its telos ["goal"] is the attainment of knowledge for its own sake. […] The practical disciplines are those sciences which deal with ethical and political life; their telos is practical wisdom and knowledge. 4

It is the practical disciplines that are identified with praxis.

Lippard's communicative exchange certainly arises out of critical reflection, and it exceeds this first Aristotelian category of theoretical activity when it produces subversive and/or empowering speech acts and texts. But insofar as it fails to link theory to socially ameliorative practice or action in a relationship in which they modify one another reciprocally until a satisfactory synthesis is achieved, it never rises to the level of Aristotle's privileged second category. It constitutes activity without praxis. For this reason, the products of this communicative exchange—Lippard's activist art—can never be more than mere discursive residues.

Notably absent from Lippard's account of recent activist art is almost any discussion of public projects by the many artists, addressed in this book and exhibition, who have been engaged for more than three decades with issues in ecology and environmentalism. Perhaps this is because the very term "ecovention" was devised to designate a category of artistic activity exclusive of the purely educational, or fantastic and unrealizable environmental remediation and restoration activities that would correspond with Lippard's limited notion of activist art as communicative exchange. If a given project does not proceed from the producer's critical reflection on a specific environmental challenge through research, community dialogue and consensus building, and direct political action to concrete realization—if it doesn't actually change the world in positive ways—it is simply not an ecovention. In this sense, ecoventions may be considered the sine qua non of activist artistic praxis.

Notes:
1. Karl Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach," 1845, in Frederick Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy (New York: International Publishers, 1941): 84.

2. Lucy R. Lippard, "Trojan Horses: Activist Art and Power," in Brian Wallis, ed., Art After Modernism: Rethinking Representation (New York: The New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1984).

3. Lippard, 344.

4. Wilfred Carr and Stephen Kimmis, Becoming Critical: Education, Knowledge and Action Research (Philadelphia: Falmer Press, 1986): 32.

Chris J. Cuomo, Ph. D., excerpted from Feminism and Ecological Communities, 1998
Questions about human flourishing are particularly tricky, especially from a perspective that eschews the notion that there is some immutable or universal human good, but still locates flourishing in the well-being of bodies. Because human nature is not fixed or universal, and does not necessarily 'aim toward' any one telos, or end (as Aristotle thought it aimed toward wisdom and virtue), and because human capacities are expressed in vastly different ways and worlds, the meaning of human, and women's, flourishing is uniquely contingent on contexts, histories, and the stories that shape lives and social realities.

As far as the work of ethical theory and practice is concerned, useful and accurate notions of human flourishing can only emerge from richly contextualized, sometimes local, evaluations of what it means to be human, what people want and strive for, and what enables their living in ways they value in specific historical and cultural locations. Also, although physiological considerations must be part of what it means to flourish, human flourishing cannot be understood solely as the fulfillment of biological needs, and when biological criteria are used we must remember that these are always conceived and filtered in and through the social and cultural lenses. Even Aristotle believed that what it means to be human, and to thrive as a human, is determined through a variety of cultural considerations, including intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and political well-being. Finally, conceptions of human flourishing that are consistent with ecological feminism must be ecologically sensitive, or built upon an awareness of the fact that all humans are ecological, as well as social and individual being....

Typically, anthropocentrism, or human-centered values and ontologies, are believed to be the root of environmental degradation and exploitation. Ecological holists believe that the majority of humans, especially those in postindustrial, technological societies, ignore the extent to which we are dependent members of biotic communities and ecosystems, and that in order to halt the degradation of nature, radical ontological and ethical shifts toward a more humble 'citizen' perspective are necessary. Human placement within, as opposed to above biotic communities, calls for humility and a reconceptualization of our relationship to nature...

Consider: to what extent are most people and groups who misuse political or economic power exclusively human-centered? Is first-world mega-consumption and toxic dumping really allowed or encouraged with the interests of the human species in mind? Surely self-centeredness, corporate greed, ethnocentrism, militarism, and nationalism result more directly in questionable environmental ethical practices than anthropocentrism does. If so, the most pressing ethical questions concern the relationships among these various prejudices. But proponents of Deep Ecology and other holistic environmental ethics pay little attention to social justice issues, and focus instead on how and why humans, as a species, tend to devalue and destroy the biotic community and its members. Holistic conceptions of natural systems, and what it means to promote the well-being of these systems, are often based on scientific models, especially those inspired by ecological sciences.

Environmental philosophy must be critical of the scientific models and metaphors it inherits or assumes. Science informs ethics by providing data, models, feedback, and projections of risk and impact. At the same time, ethics must question science's models, methods, goals, and assumptions. Powerful metaphors encourage us to think that only two options are available: chaos or harmony; nature as pure machine, or imbued with full intentionality; human beings as selfish, atomistic utility-maximizers, or as wishy-washy group-thinkers with no autonomy. In fact, options exist beyond the cognitive universe evoked by any powerful metaphor and its opposite. Moral agents can decide how to negotiate the world without hopes of reaching a pre-determined, necessary state of harmony or static equilibrium, or any ultimate state.

ecoartspace is a nonprofit organization supporting artists who create works that raise environmental awareness and inspire visions of a sustainable relationship between humans and the natural world. ecoartspace activities include curating exhibitions, working with school children in an Art and Environment curriculum and serving as an information and consulting resource for artists and museums seeking to address ecological issues.

The organization's accomplishments as of 2002 include presenting exhibitions in galleries, public spaces and museums, such as Ecovention for the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; implementing an Art and Environment curriculum at The Earth School, a public elementary school in New York City concurrently with Pt. Dume Marine Science elementary school in Los Angeles; advising for an environmental exploration park and museum complex in Northern California; writing a third and fourth grade curriculum in conjunction with an exhibition titled "By Nature's Design" for a municipal art gallery in Southern California.

ecoartspace has organized and participated on panel discussions focusing on the topic of nature and its relationship to art and culture, including Reconstructing Ecologies at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2000); California Waterways at University of California, Irvine (2001); Taking Nature Seriously, at the University of Oregon, Eugene (2001); Art Culture Nature International Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona (2001); Art and Ecology at the Pomona College Museum of Art, California (2001); Art for Life's Sake the New Aesthetics of Participation at the New York Open Center (2001); The New Ecology of Culture: A Terra Nova Evening, City University of New York (2001); and Art, Culture and Community at the Los Angeles Arboretum (2002) in conjunction with an exhibition titled Cross-Pollination.

ecoartspace was founded in 1997 in Los Angeles by Patricia Watts who developed the website in 1998. Watts and independent curator, Amy Lipton of New York traveled together to Germany to see "Natural Reality," curated by Heike Strelow of Frankfurt in June 1999. Following this trip, they decided to join forces and develop ecoartspace as a nonprofit organization on both the East and West Coasts.
ecoartspace seeks to develop relationships with institutions or individuals that share its vision and who are interested to develop a similar program and/or curriculum in their own community with the guidance of Patricia Watts and Amy Lipton. Currently ecoartspace operates out of both Topanga, California and a recently opened space in Beacon, New York. Their goal is to open a multi- disciplinary, community-oriented art and nature center that focuses on the ecological issues of a particular area and to present exhibitions that show how regional cultures are interconnected in vast networks of organic relationships.

Suzi Gablik, Art and the Big Picture
How do individuals overturn a world view and break free of its limiting ideologies? What makes us change our beliefs about something?

In Western culture, artists normally do not train to engage with real-life problems. They learn instead to be competitive with their products in the market place. Because we live in a society that is oriented around manic production, maximum energy flow, and upscale consumerism, profit has become the primary criterion by which we measure every good, every activity, every attitude, and every cultural product. All of our cultural institutions are subtly and lethally influenced by this ideology-based on set patterns of conventional success and its economic imperative. Artists are thus constantly being challenged in their identity as winners or losers in the success game, and "professional recognition," in the form of brisk sales and positive reviews is a primary incentive that colors the internal rhythms of art making.

So are we forever locked into the inevitability of a world view based on materialism-and with it, a certain kind of art fixated on the notion of saleable objects? Or can we recover, if we choose, from the estrangements of Western civilization? Instead of art-as-commodity, deprived of any useful social role, can art actually help us to revision ourselves and our way of living on this earth? Can we learn to participate in the "great work" of our time, which, according to the great geologian Thomas Berry, involves "moving from a devastating presence on the planet to a benign presence?"

In the dominant paradigm, art is understood mostly as static objects, existing in museums and galleries, separate from ordinary life. The work of artists who have been included in this exhibition goes against the prevailing current. It requires you to step out of line, to break with the past. Other people will feel the ripples and often, they won't like it. Make no mistake: to change the paradigm from which art operates is to change something about its fundamental nature. Beliefs tell us what is possible and what is not.
People will want to say, for instance, what do art and issues of chemical contamination have in common? What possible link can there be between concepts like "endangered species," renewable and nonrenewable resources, or damaged forests, and the "personal problems" artists have in building a successful career today?

Until a few decades ago, artists generally were not motivated to express concerns about biodiversity, global warming, reclamation of wetlands, or acid rain in their work. Aesthetic paradigms acting in partnership with environmental impact statements was unheard of. But now, a whole cadre of artists has emerged with a new form of practice, loosely called "ecoventions."

Several years ago the University of Chicago alumni magazine featured the philosopher Richard Rorty on its cover, announcing that "there is no Big Picture." This is the very philosophy that has brought the world to the edge of eco-systemic collapse. Thus, for anyone who wants to change the tides of where our civilization is headed, the first step is to look at the Big Picture-and to become conscious of how profoundly they have internalized the values and dictates of the dominant paradigm. And then, as Annie Dillard suggests, you go home and soak your feet. Because the task at hand, the task of renewal, is very daunting-and will require a peculiar internal state which ordinary life does not induce.

If you are going to challenge the old Cartesian dualisms-like the one that separates art from life-with more participatory and engaged forms of consciousness, then you will also need a whole new language: one that expresses interdependence and reciprocity, so that the creative imagination can meet its new task. Changing paradigms is more than just a conceptual challenge: it requires that we personally leave behind certain things that have been a central part of our individual and cultural self-definitions. Hard-edged individualism will not apply. The bare white walls of the gallery and the aluminum frame will not apply. Recognizing an artist's worth through the fact of showing or not showing, selling or not selling, will not apply. The archness and bravura of postmodern aesthetics will not apply, because this art comes from a different vision. It is a vision dedicated to a single perception: how to live appropriately in an interconnected universe.

David Haley - the future and other creation myths

In water we evolved
Of water we are made
From water we are born
With water we live
To water we return
By water we may know

…time was before time that life hung by chance in a mist of water and dust not knowing which way was up as the winds drove atmospheres to spin and storm between volcanic ferocity and gravity clashing as the dice rolled a millennia or two for a few carbon atoms to meet in a droplet and then caught in the moment struck by lightning charged to live in multiple oceans of possible forms made of themselves splitting, joining and sharing each with each in seeming infinity far from equilibrium suspended in rich brine until the memory of potential fusion to become complex and diverse permutations some of whom used the sun's energy from the clearing skies to consume more carbon and issue oxygen making a new atmosphere in which to evolve as new species to become and inhabit new kingdoms but some returned from the mineral surface to enjoy their refuge in water…

…come to pass…

…time was when there was a shift in the weather, it got even warmer and the glacier stopped moving and melted where it was and life awoke as one droplet of water melted from the ice and joining another liberated droplet, they ran to a third and a forth, waited a wile for a sixth and seventh to run into them in quick succession over the ice they ran and fell and splashed, building-up behind ridges and brimmed over tirelessly joining and being joined by other drops again and again and again and again for millennia added to by the rains spilling forth to carve in the emerging ground a river channel that invented and improvised around shifting hills and through gaps joined other streams and pools taking its time invigorated by every twist turn confluence and diversion as it rushed from the mountains then meandered across the plain depositing silt and rich minerals looping back and forth to a mighty gorge where it met and spun into vortices of warm brine on a flow tide from the new ocean…

…come to pass…

…time was when it rained and rained and the aquifers filled and the river rose to meet the people watching as they spent so much of their time waiting for one in a hundred years to see if their defenses would hold against the moment and some prayed, some fled and some felt they were one with their property and refused to let go of the reassurance of re insurance so they waited and watched lifetimes in the moments of a million droplets falling that ran to the river see which droplet would be the one to break the surface tension of disbelief…

…all things come to pass…

Barbara Matilsky, excerpts from "Environmental Art: New Approaches to Nature," in Fragile Ecologies: Contemporary Artists' Interpretations and Solutions, 1992
The political and social climate during the 1960s encouraged a fresh approach to art and nature. As an increasing number of people began to question traditional values and governmental policies regarding Vietnam, racial segregation, women's status, and the environment, many artists began their own soul-searching. By examining art's relationship to society and the conventional materials and media of their profession, a group of artists in the United States and Europe started to challenge established assumptions about making and exhibiting art. Many turned to nature and began interpreting its life-generating forces to create radically new kinds of art. This movement became known as "environmental art (page 36)."

Environmental art relates to two other important American movementsó minimal and process artó that emerged during the 1960s. Both were concerned with extending traditional boundaries of form, space, and materials.... In contrast to the commercially fabricated materials used to create hard-edge minimal sculpture, process art was defined by nonrigid materialsó rope, fabric, lead- that could be scattered, thrown, or poured. The subject of the work was the process itself, which expressed the changeable aspects of the material and its potential to expand endlessly in all directions. In process art, the compositions were often determined by chance and the nature of the material. By allowing nature itself to determine the form and content of the work, environmental artists share many of the concerns defined by process art...

For environmental artists, nature embodied and inspired the freedom to forge new directions in art and move away from the commercial gallery system. The traditional art gallery, by exhibiting art objects and reducing them to a commodity, was perceived as limiting the artist's creative possibilities. Environmental artists joined a growing number of artists who created works that could not be purchased. This, of course, opened up the question of support and patronage. Some galleries responded favorably to the new art and exhibited indoor projects by environmental artists. University galleries and museums also provided opportunities to survey these new developments. The most important consequence of artists freeing themselves from dependency on the gallery was their beginning to work in the public domain, a fertile forum for the creation of ecological art (page 38).

During the wave of environmental activism of the 1960s and 1970s, many artists reestablished a link between people, plants, animals, and the elements of nature. Using a new vocabularyóthat of nature itselfó artists interpreted the processes, variations, and internal rhythms of the earth. These artworks often changed according to the seasons, times of day, and atmospheric conditions.
...Artists who addressed the processes of organic growth and other natural phenomena shared many of the same concerns as the earliest artists, who were awed by nature's powers and attempted to capture them through art and ritual. Environmental artworks continue an ancient tradition founded upon the symbiotic relationship between people and nature.

Although all environmental artists contributed to fostering a new awareness of nature, some were more ecologically conscious than others. Within the movement's diversity of approaches and range of attitudes, environmental issues were interpreted and solutions proposed or implemented to restore nature and revitalize the cities. From this new consciousness, ecological art would continue to evolve and expand in new directions (page 55).

Curator of the ground-breaking exhibition, "Fragile Ecologies: Contemporary Artists' Interpretations and Solutions," Barbara Matilsky is currently the curator of exhibitions at the Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Elizabeth Thompson, The ART of WHOLE SYSTEMS

GLOBAL CONTEXT
Noted futurist Duane Elgin identifies five Adversity Trends currently in full force
planet-wide: climate change, species extinction, population growth, resource depletion and poverty. If we take seriously the magnitude of these trends we are surely faced with what has been called a Whole Systems Challenge.

SYSTEMS THEORY
While each of these trends can be examined individually, as has been the case historically, Systems Theory provides a useful lens through which the inherent dynamic relationships between these trends can be understood. In brief, systems theory is able to account for the complexity and interdependence of all phenomena, and the embedded relationships between them. This includes both the internal properties of the system, as well as its external relationship to the environment; the latter of which includes space, time, viewer and society. Systems theory can be applied directly to an interpretation of the work included in Ecovention. The artists work collaboratively with biologists, community planners, educators, engineers and others, and employ innovative interdisciplinary problem-posing and problem-solving strategies to 'render' the work. The resulting installations reveal to us the complex web of dynamic interrelationships between natural and human systems. The art occurs within the relatedness and interaction between all parts of the system. The artist becomes active agent/strategist/ inventor and facilitator of a larger interactive process of social and environmental change.

From EARTHWORK to PLANETWORK
Artists involved in the land art and Earthwork movements of the late1960s and 1970s looked at the earth primarily as a 'resource' material for their work, engaging the land as a sculptural medium, concerned primarily with formal sculptural issues. This relationship to the earth recapitulated the prevailing cultural notion of the human being's distinct 'otherness' from the natural world, a solopsism which literally paved the way for a staggering exploitation of the earth's "endless" resources. The work in this exhibition directly challenges this notion and demands a humbling, Copernican shift in our perception of the human being's relationship to the earth, of the earth's fragility, and of the vastly complex planetary system in which we participate.

PARTICIPATORY AESTHETICS
Inherent in the perceptual shift required to engage this planetwork is what has been described as an aesthetics of participation. In this context 'participatory aesthetics' describes an art that is no longer a space for the personal subjective realm, but an art that seeks to re-integrate the human being into the larger ecological system within which he/she is embedded. It requires the surrender of an exclusively human-centric worldview in order to fully engage its meaning. This is an art and art practice that seeks to find a new relevance for itself in the face of enormous global challenges. It is an art that responds to the new understandings in science, philosophy and psychology that form the basis for an emerging 'new paradigm'.

The ART of WHOLE SYSTEMS
The artist as active change agent directly confronts the whole systems challenge we face as an earth community. Employing systems theory strategies, the artist creates an interactive 'space' in which the role of 'viewer' as passive consumer is transformed into that of active participant in an ongoing interdependent relationship with the earth's fragile ecosystems. The work inspires new understanding of the crucial role the artist plays in the creation of a sustainable future. It is a clarion call we must urgently heed.

I am indebted to Hans Dieter Huber and his essay The Artwork as a System and its Aesthetic Experience, 1989, delivered at The University of Florida and at The University of Texas at Austin, for this explanation of Systems Theory.
Gablik, Suzi. The Reenchantment of Art, London: Thames and Hudson, 1991

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