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23 Sep 2019

Art, Activism & Environment: Practical Approaches to Contemporary Ecologies

'Art, Activism & Environment: Practical Approaches to Contemporary Ecologies' Online Course by Node Center
Node Center for Curatorial Studies


- Duration: October 15 - November 5, 2019 - Application deadline: October 11, 2019 - Lecturer: Aoife Desmond - Participation fee: 154 EUR


Node Center for Curatorial Studies
Wrangelstr. 5
10997 Berlin

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An Online Course by Node Center

This 4-week course offers a practical introduction to contemporary and historical practices connecting Art, Activism & Environment. Suitable for curators, artists, cultural workers and environmental activists, this course will explore relevant and nuanced art events and actions that relate to ecological concerns. Participants will discuss practical, ethical and conceptual issues that may occur in the realisation of environmental projects. Particular attention will be paid to site-specific projects and to current ecological and environmental concerns both local and international.

Participants will develop a project proposal throughout the course, solving questions both as a group and individually. Challenges to consider include the legacy of a project, the relationship to local communities human and non-human, the different strengths of guerrilla activities versus organised and sanctioned activities. How can an environmental project be deemed successful? On what terms? On whose terms? With an understanding of some of the potential problems specific to projects that span art, activism and environment, it is intended that participants can deliver more effective projects.

Creating art projects that span this area between activism and the environment calls for an interdisciplinary approach and understanding. It is important to identify key research and communities that link to the theme or location of your intended project. By comparing approaches and projects from different locations and contexts, this course intends to create a living body of knowledge that can be translated into practice.

*Video conferences every Tuesday at 3pm Berlin time CET. Recordings will be available in case you miss a live session!

- Duration: October 15 - November 5, 2019
- Application deadline: October 11, 2019
- Lecturer: Aoife Desmond
- Participation fee: 154 EUR



Week 1 - An introduction to art, activism and the environment

Introduction to current and historical art practices in relation to ecology and the environment.
Introduction to key reference texts in relation to art, activism and environment.
Exploration of the social, ecological and political relevance of a selection of artist's precedents.
Preparations and research questions for participants' project proposals.

Week 2 - Key questions and methodologies to consider in the realisation of projects that combine art, activism and the environment

Conceptual and ethical concerns specific to ecological and environmental projects.
Outline of key questions and methodologies in the practical realisation of projects.
An exploration of crossovers and intersections between art, activism and environment.
Further questions and points for development in relation to participants proposals.

Week 3 - Practical and ecological concerns for both gallery based and offsite/outdoor works

An examination of relevant networks and communities in relation to ecological projects.
An exploration of practical and contextual concerns in relation to gallery and off-site projects.
A global comparison of ecological art projects to outline cultural specificity but also similarities and potentials.
Re-structuring and contextualisation of participants project proposals.

Week 4 - Identification of key issues to be developed further in participants projects and ideas of legacy and relevance

Discussion of legacy, documentation and re-contextualisation of specific environmental art projects.
Comparison of urgent and long term approaches within activism, art and environmental practices.
Situation of specific projects within global critique and discourse.
Group discussion of participants proposals.


Image by Ashley Batz