Hannah Arendt

Aesthetics & Sustainability | Arlene Goldbard

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Clyde Research - photo Chris Fremantle

Clyde Research – photo Chris Fremantle

Arlene Goldbard’s recent blog on aesthetics and sustainability is very refreshing.  It acknowledges that we define sustainability by it’s negative, ie our current unsustainable lifestyles (and we can describe that unsustainability in myriad ways).

Arlene quotes Adrienne Goehler in sharply defining the challenge to move the idea of sustainability beyond “prohibition, asceticism, and morality” into the a relationship with, “new forms of learning. Aesthetic education means sensitive, perceptive, creative education, which, in the words of Hannah Arendt, culminates in creative action.”

If you are interested in thinking about sustainability then this is a good place to start.  Sign up for her posts.  They are always interesting.

Aesthetics & Sustainability | Arlene Goldbard.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
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Situation: a review.

I read “Situtation” as I read most books these days: sitting on the Bay Area Rapid Transit, traveling between jobs. It’s the 6-10 jobs that keep my volunteer blogging to a minimum (no regular wifi on BART just yet). Still, I wanted to read– and write about– this book. Because how I read it is also how it’s structured: in small digestible chapters. Because Situation is a compilation of excerpts from primary sources, the words of artists and scholars, here and gone, about context and place in artmaking.

The cited authors range from Lucy Lippard to Hannah Arendt to Robert Smithson (yes, THAT Robert Smithson) to Krzysztof Wodiczko. The excerpts are organized into four parts: “The Limits of Site,” “Fieldwork,” “Action and Public Space,” “Place and Locality,” and “The Curatorial Imperative.” Editor Claire Doherty does an excellent job of chaining seemingly unrelated sources together. And though there’s a lot of complaint about how media and television are affecting literature, that it read like a documentary was pleasant.

On one page I’d be reviewing Smithson’s work with sites and non-sites: on the next I’d be reading Giorgio Agamben’s thoughts on witnessing. The experience was an ever-evolving collage of thought on place. Like a kaleidescope with some of the best thinkers of the last 75 years or so in it. Good for introducing yourself to new thoughts on space. Good for mental niblets between trains. Good for discovering new incredible people.

Go to the Green Museum