Art and Sustainability

The ‘Art and Sustainability’ by Sacha Kagan published by Transcript is an immensely rich philosophical text exploring the necessary characteristics of philosophy of sustainability that could inform the new sustainable art. Drawing on the current theories of complexity and sustainability of Gregory Bateson, Fritjof Capra, Ilya Prigogine, Kagan discusses the principles of systems theory, emergence, entropy, networks, self-organization, and proceeds to explore the fundamental elements and emergent properties of ecosystems and life itself as opposed to machines and economies. He establishes important characteristics and early history for the new art of sustainability, based on ideas of  complexity, ecosystems and sustainability. In concluding chapters Kagan critiques the development of ecological art from Land Art of 1960s USA to environmental art of Andy Goldsworthy. A very complex and highly stimulating text that could assist in changing the contemporary artistic discourse.

Kagan, S. (2011) Art and Sustainability. Connecting Patterns for a Culture of Complexity



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