“Ecological Aesthetics: Artful Tactics for Humans, Nature, and Politics” presented by Stern


Session Title:

  • Spirit and Flesh (Long Papers)

Presentation Title:

  • Ecological Aesthetics: Artful Tactics for Humans, Nature, and Politics




  • Introduction
    My new book, Ecological Aesthetics: artful tactics for humans, nature, and politics (Dartmouth College Press, to be released 3 July 2018) reminds us that stories are simple, but precious – and, perhaps, a bit too rare in current critical discourses. And they are the “artful tactic” with which I propose we mostly orient ourselves towards concern with the world: with humans, nature, and politics, with how we move-think-feel and act. I give in-depth narratives around about ten artists and their artworks, over ten sections, like a gentle manifesto, moving between strong statement and rich description, thoughtful definitions and punctuated rhythms.

    An “ecological approach” takes account of agents, processes, thoughts, and relations. Humans and non-humans, matter and concepts, things and not-yet things, politics, technology, economics, and industry, for example, are all actively shaped in, and as, their interrelation. And “aesthetics” is five things: what can be said, shown, experienced, or practiced; what is said, shown, experienced, or practiced; how it is said, shown, experienced, or practiced; why it is said, shown, experienced, or practiced; and, most importantly, the stakes therein. It is, overall, a style of, and orientation towards, thought, and thus action.

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