Can artists change the world? Can their work transform the way we live and behave? These and many more questions are explored in Art & Ecology Now, a timely and thought-provoking book and the first in-depth, highly illustrated, account of the ways contemporary artists from around the globe are confronting nature, the environment, climate change and ecology today.
Art & Ecology Now
explores how artists have discovered a new sense of purpose in response to the growing environmental threat and considers how the line between art and activism is shifting. The book features some of the most important and adventurous work made since the start of the new millennium, with an introduction placing the work in context, tracing its roots back to the land art and earthworks of the 1960s, and to the strategies of conceptual art and agit-prop.
Organized into six chapters, the book moves through the various levels of artists engagement, from those who act as independent observers, documenting and reflecting on nature, to those who use natural forms as the raw material for their art, and to those who operate as committed activists with the goal of making art that transforms our attitudes and habits and has a positive impact on the physical environment.
From the melting glaciers of Iceland to the desertification of China, from the pollution of Paris to the protection of the rainforest, and from the lost species of the English countryside to the destruction of the African landscape, the entire planet provides inspiration to this diverse collection of artists, each of whom responds in their own unique way, often modest, sometimes spectacular. Some artists work in collaboration with specialists such as zoologists, geologists, meteorologists, oceanographers and urban planners and their work ranges from installations, performances, interventions, sculpture, photography, painting, drawing, video and digital work.
Art & Ecology Now features more than 300 images -- the work of 110 artists and art collectives from all over the world, including The Artist as Family, Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo, Yao Lu, Tue Greenfort, Eva Jospin, Ravi Agarwal, Nadav Kander, Naoya Hatakeyama, Tattfoo Tan, Berndnaut Smilde, Simon Starling, and Allora and Calzadilla.
Andrew Brown is a writer, editor and publisher of art books in London, and the former acting director of visual arts strategy at Arts Council England.