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EcoArt Academy

THE ENVIRONMENT AND ART

In a general sense, [Eco-art] is art that helps improve our relationship with the natural world. There is no definition set in stone. This living worldwide movement is growing and changing as you read this. Much environmental art is ephemeral, designed for a particular place (site-specific) and involves collaborations between artists and others such as scientists, educators and community groups (distributed ownership). These variables can make exhibiting this work difficult for traditional museums so greenmuseum.org was created: an online museum for global the environmental art movement.

  • See "A Profusion of Terms", by Sam Bower of greenmuseum.org, for a look at some of the many terms used on this site such as eco-art, art in nature, Land Art, etc..

  • See "A Brief Introduction" by Clive Adams of the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World.

Reproduced with permission from:  former greenmuseum.org/what_is_ea.php Fair Use availability

Environmental art:

  1. interprets nature, creating artworks that inform us about nature and its processes, or about environmental problems we face.
  2. is concerned with environmental forces and materials, creating artworks affected or powered by wind, water, lightning, even earthquakes.
  3. re-envisions our relationship to nature, proposing through the work new ways for us to co-exist with our environment.
  4. reclaims and remediates damaged environments, restoring ecosystems in artistic and often aesthetic ways.

Inspired by a list made by the artist Lynne Hull; greenmuseum.org Fair Use availability

From an artist statement:

In our modern world advanced by technology, experience of the real is often mediated by the virtual: television, movies or email. With the globalization of economies, widespread and ferocious industrialization, rapidity of communication and commerce and the shift to hypo-real lifestyles, the very nature of our lives have changed. Work entails the exchange of information. Leisure is often sedentary and indoor. And agriculture is managed by a distant corporation. Nature has become an abstract concept; something that we see through a car window, passing at 55 mph.

Society has become disconnected from Nature—the very source of life. The ecosystem that we rely upon for our survival, we poison without second thought. As cultural disconnection from Nature continues to develop, it has become imperative that Nature in art and art in Nature provide a connection to the power and meaning of life. By re-instilling a respect for all life (which does not necessitate an avoidance of death, but an honoring of all life that we consume) and respect for the earth’s resources (which means using fully that which we take and not taking more than we need), we can reestablish a harmonious relationship to Nature and enjoy lives of greater comfort, peace and health.

It has been the responsibility of artists to mirror society, to challenge accepted thinking and to provide a critical voice. I intend works such as Nature Viewers, Found Poster Series and Nature: a Five Mile Drive, to challenge our relationship to Nature and its resources. I challenge us to take responsibility for our actions, regardless of comfort and convenience, because we must. In these works, Nature is the medium conceptually and physically. By creating art that places the body in a new, sensual relationship to the work, Eco-artists re-insert the body into Nature, seeking to reestablish Man as part of Nature—no longer removed from it. Through my work, I ask for recognition of your own physical presence and connection to the land, our complicity in these specific situations and our interconnectivity to the entirety of life. While this can be appreciated through documentation of my own and other Eco-artists’ work, I encourage you to also explore the work of Nature in Nature with the sun on your face and the wind at your back.

  

Reproduced with permission from Tim Gaudreau, Eco-artist, www.timgaudreau.com

More thoughts about EcoArt

Reproduced with permision from http://www.lindaweintraub.com/blog

EcoArt distinguishes itself from Environmental Art in that it embraces an ecological ethic in both its content and form/materials. Artists considered to be working within the genre subscribe generally to one or more of the following principles:

  • Attention on the web of interrelationships in our environment—to the physical, biological, cultural, political, and historical aspects of ecological systems.

  • Create works that employ natural materials, or engage with environmental forces such as wind, water, or sunlight.

  • Reclaim, restore, and remediate damaged environments.

  • Inform the public about ecological dynamics and the environmental problems we face.

  • Re-envision ecological relationships, creatively proposing new possibilities for coexistence, sustainability, and healing.

EcoArt is created to inspire caring and respect, stimulate dialogue, and encourage the long-term flourishing of the social and natural environments in which we live. It commonly manifests as socially engaged, activist, community-based restorative or interventionist art.

The arts are making increasingly important contributions to envisioning sustainability and implementing the means to attain it.  In order to fulfill this challenging environmental mandate, these artists are boldly revamping art’s traditional themes, mediums, aesthetics, processes, roles, and skills. In the process, aspects of art that have been cherished for hundreds of years are being discarded as irrelevant and replaced with unprecedented alternatives.
 
Eco artists may, for example, disrupt conventions in art by rejecting rarity, craftsmanship, authenticity, stylistic consistency, and aesthetic appeal in order to defer to natural forces. They may adopt nature’s manner of recycling materials by selecting mediums that are materially unstable, or they may disregard or reject the intention to produce an enduring art work in order to harmonize with such dynamic conditions as growth and decay, weather, and geological cycles. Furthermore, eco artists may replace static arrangements of discrete objects in space to envision the vibrant interconnectedness of all living beings.  Ultimately, eco artists’ concern for the welfare of Earth systems and their diverse populations subsumed the age-old association of the artist with self expression.

 

Eco art critics and eco art historians must be scrambling to accommodate the radical transformations in the creative production of art that are currently being introduced by eco artists. Eco art critics must be figuring out how to integrate into their analysis the seismic shifts in social meanings and ethical values that reflect environmental concerns. At the same time, art historians are confronting the challenge of contextualizing and conceptualizing a form of artistic expression that is in the process of redefining its forms and functions. The chapters representing the early years of the 21st century in future art history texts are not yet written. They will likely be formulated through the creative rewiring of professional protocols that differentiate art critics from eco art critics and art historians from eco art historians. 
 

While most art historians analyze art’s external manifestations, eco art historians confront the added challenge of investigating the processes that determine output, the mediums that convey the works’ themes, the strategies employed to fulfill the artists’ intentions. Thus, instead of analyzing artworks as post-operative artifacts that are isolated from life occurrences, the works of art that eco art historians explore remain within the dynamics of operating ecosystems.

Likewise, art that is being created to accommodate the planet’s infirmities and vulnerabilities carries a mandate for eco art critics. They must construct a new set of criteria that considers two disciplines simultaneously – ecology and art. The ‘art’ part of their task involves evaluating the merit of works of art based upon aesthetic, thematic, stylistic, biographical, historic, and/or theoretical criteria.  The ‘eco’ part of their job involves evaluating the art work according to ecological principles associated with protecting the planet’s life-sustaining conditions. Straddling these disciplines is complicated by the fact that the ‘eco’ part of their mandate expands the conventional concerns of art to include such issues as the actuality of ecosystem functions, human interactions with the material environment, corporate policies regarding resource use and disposal, the environmental impact of technological innovations, and government regulations regarding environmental protections. Such encompassing considerations unsettle the long-held determinants of artistic “success,” “excellence,” “integrity,” “originality,” and “significance”. Developing these criteria requires an explorer’s zeal and an inventor’s initiative.   

 Read more at http://www.lindaweintraub.com/blog

EcoArt, History & Environment

EcoArt in all it's forms, is available through the Civiliti Catalog. 50% of the purchase price goes to the Artisan, 25%  goes to the EcoArt, Environment or Human Rights Non-Profit "that the buyer chooses".

EcoArt: Yesterday-Today 

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