The Possibilities and Potential Pitfalls of Contemporary Global Environmental(ist) Imaginaries: The Human/Nature Project and Philip Krohn’s EARTH Sticker
AuthorsEdlich, Micha Gerrit Philipp
IdentifiersPermanent link (URI): http://hdl.handle.net/10017/21193
Universidad de Alcalá
Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment, vol. 1, n. 2 (2010), pp. 51-66
Located at the gradually emerging juncture between the current discourses on the global and art in ecocritical scholarship, this article explores how contemporary works of art such as EARTH Sticker (2005) by the North American artist Philip Krohn and artist residency and exhibition projects such as Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet (2008) parse, represent, and imagine the political, socioeconomic, cultural, and especially ecological implications of globalization. EARTH Sticker and two contributions to Human/Nature, the sculptures Sapukay: Cry for Help and Teko Mbarate: Struggle for Life by the Portuguese artist and current San Francisco Bay Area resident Rigo 23, present different environmental imaginaries that challenge and simultaneously rely on the material contexts and conditions on which the increasingly globalized production of art is always predicated. As Krohn and Rigo 23 demonstrate, even art that is created in an environmentalist context (Human/Nature) or with an ostensible activist purpose (EARTH Sticker) cannot escape this double bind. To identify this dilemma is not to dismiss these works of art as self-contradictory failures, but to highlight precisely Krohn’s and Rigo 23’s important insights with regard to this embedment for other global environmental imaginaries and particularly for further ecocritical analysis. Emphasizing the material and institutional conditions, current means and sites of cultural production, and technologies for the dissemination of information, these works of art thus foreground and perform what is often erased from the equation and from critical analysis.