Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments and Epistemologies

edited by Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin

Taking as its premise that the proposed geologic epoch of the Anthropocene is necessarily an aesthetic event, this book explores the relationship between contemporary art and knowledge production in an era of ecological crisis, with contributions from artists, curators, theorists and activists. Contributors include Amy Balkin, Ursula Biemann, Amanda Boetzkes, Lindsay Bremner, Joshua Clover & Juliana Spahr, Heather Davis, Sara Dean, Elizabeth Ellsworth & Jamie Kruse (smudge studio), Irmgard Emmelhainz, Anselm Franke, Peter Galison, Fabien Giraud & Ida Soulard, Laurent Gutierrez & Valérie Portefaix (MAP Office), Terike Haapoja & Laura Gustafsson, Laura Hall, Ilana Halperin, Donna Haraway & Martha Kenney, Ho Tzu Nyen, Bruno Latour, Jeffrey Malecki, Mary Mattingly, Mixrice (Cho Jieun & Yang Chulmo), Natasha Myers, Jean-Luc Nancy & John Paul Ricco, Vincent Normand, Richard Pell & Emily Kutil, Tomás Saraceno, Sasha Engelmann & Bronislaw Szerszynski, Ada Smailbegovic, Karolina Sobecka, Zoe Todd, Richard Streitmatter-Tran & Vi Le, Anna-Sophie Springer, Sylvère Lotringer, Peter Sloterdijk, Etienne Turpin, Pinar Yoldas, and Una Chaudhuri, Fritz Ertl, Oliver Kellhammer & Marina Zurkow.

“This brilliant collection of essays and projects, gathered from all over the world, reflects the limits and possibilities of how visual art might respond to what Sylvère Lotringer describes as a “state of emergency.” Art in the Anthropocene is at once an investigation and an homage to the natural world. It describes what we possess and what we have lost.”
Chris Kraus – author of Where Art Belongs
Art in the Anthropocene is an art book like no other, embracing an extraordinary range of subjects that affect what we call “our” environment. Visual artists are, for once, equal participants in these imaginative, intelligent, and informative discussions of the most pressing issues of our time, and deep time.”
Lucy R. Lippard – author of Undermining: A Wild Ride through Land Use, Politics and Art in the Changing West
“Call it the Anthropocene, the #misanthropocene, or something else—there’s a growing recognition that these are damaged times, even if nobody is quite sure how to see, think, or feel them. That’s why Art in the Anthropocene is so important. Davis and Turpin have gathered up the seeds for a whole biome of art and thought about the things that really matter in this world.”
McKenzie Wark – author of Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene
“This is a rich, ambitious, and beautifully edited collection that reimagines the Anthropocene as an affective rather than a scientific fact. It touches the very core of our being (post)human—and of the space around us we variously call “the environment” or “the world.” Art in the Anthropocene is vital read for anyone who cares about art, animals, climate, ethics, extinction, justice, plants, poetry and the weather!”
Joanna Zylinska – author of Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene

Editor Bios

Heather Davis is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, where she is working on a project that traces the ethology of plastic as a materialization of the philosophic division of the subject and object. Previously, she was a FQRSC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Women’s Studies at Duke University. She completed her Ph.D. in the joint program in Communication at Concordia University in 2011 on the political potential of community-based art. She has been a visiting scholar in the program in Aesthetics and Politics at CalArts, the Experimental Critical Theory program at UCLA, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU, and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. She is the editor of Desire/Change : Contemporary Feminist Art in Canada (MAWA/McGillQueen’s UP, forthcoming 2016). She has written widely about the intersection of art, politics, and ecological disaster.

Etienne Turpin is a philosopher studying, curating, designing and writing about complex urban systems, political economies of data and infrastructure, visual culture and aesthetic practices, and Southeast Asian colonial–scientific history. In Jakarta, Etienne is the director of anexact office and the co–principal investigator, with Tomas Holderness, of At the University of Wollongong, Etienne is the Vice–Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the SMART Infrastructure Facility and an Associate Research Fellow with the Australian Center for Cultural Environmental Research. He is also a member of the SYNAPSE International Curators’ Network of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, where he is the co–editor, with Anna–Sophie Springer, of the intercalations: paginated exhibition series as part of the Das AnthropozänProjekt. He is the editor of Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy (Open Humanities Press, 2013) and co–editor of Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation (Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013).