Ecosophy Reading Group – Readings

Today’s the final in the Ecosophy Reading Group that I’ve been running with Becky at Nottingham Contemporary. We’ve tried to take a lot in and as ever with these things it’s been as useful for the connections to new knowledges as it has been for getting to the bottom of the texts we’ve been looking at (and very useful it has been). To recap, the aim was to think (broadly) about how ‘ecology’ and ecological metaphors are mobilized politically, socially, and in contemporary art practice. The reading group has formed part of the public programme for the John Newling and Piero Gilardi exhibitions.

The reading group started with more ‘obvious’ approaches and broadened from there. Today’s session is designed partly to co-incide with the latest edition of Third Text, about which there was recently an event at Nottingham Contemporary.

The reading and links are below.

Week One – What do we mean when we say ecology? ‘Deep’ vs. ‘social’ ecology.
  • What is ecology?
  • How has the concept been used politically?
  • How does it connect with political and social organisation?
Drengson, Alan (1997) ‘Ecophilosophy, Ecosophy and the Deep Ecology Movement: An Overview‘, The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy, 14(3)

Week Two – Ecology and Place

  • How is space and place (re)produced by ecological relationships?
  • How does John Newling’s art practice address these issues?
  • How do ecological intentional communities try and live ‘ecologically’?
  • Are utopian communities the/an answer to ecological and social issues?
  • What are the aesthetics of ecology?

Newling, John (2007) ‘The Liminal and the Sacred’ in An Essential Disorientation, Poznan: SARP, pp. 37-44

Sargisson, Lucy (2012) ‘Green Intentional Communities’ in Fool’s Gold: Twentyfirst Century Utopianism, Houndsmill: Palgrave MacMillan

Week Three – Expanded Ecologies

  • Does ecology need ‘nature’?
  • How would an ‘ecology of objects’ function?
  • What is the relationship of capitalism to ecology and ecological thinking?
  • Is ecology an appropriate term for thinking about the social?
  • What might ‘ecosophy’ mean?

Guattari, Felix (1992) ‘Remaking Social Practices’

Morton, Timothy (2009) ‘Ecology After Capitalism’Polygraph, 22, pp. 46-59

Episode 2 of ‘All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace’, Adam Curtis/BBC Television

Week Four – Ecosophies of Art

  • What role can and should collaboration/participation/democracy have in art?
  • Does art need to be grounded in aesthetics rather than ethics?

Beuys, Joseph (1974) ‘I am Searching for Field Character’

Bishop, Claire (2006) ‘The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents’Artforum, February 2006 pp. 178-183

Week Five – Third Text Special

  • A look back at a number of issues, including:
  • Objects and ecology
  • Capitalism and ecology
  • Art and ecology
  • Gender and ecology

Ahmed, Nabil (2013) ‘Entangled Earth‘, Third Text, 27(1), pp. 44-53
Horton, Jessica L. & Berlo, Janet, Catherine (2013) ‘Beyond the Mirror‘, Third Text, 27(1), pp. 17-28

Optional Extras (texts that filled a desire arising in discussion)

If we did this again I think we’d definitely have a week on ecology and gender.

Vandana Shiva – Everything I Need to Know I Learned From the Forest

Platform Podcast Episode 1 – Fifteen Years of Not Getting Justice

Ecofeminism Intro

Mariarosa Dalla Costa – Renaturalizing the WorldThe Commoner

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