ecological art
November 11, 2003 3:45 AM   Subscribe

Ecological art takes many forms, fascinating, beautiful, provocative, ephemeral, live, active, and even bloggy. See's featured artists and visit the Getty's Ecological Art Gallery (see also Art and the Earth, six photo essays).
posted by taz (4 comments total)
I fail to understand the aplication of the "ecological" epithet to almost all of these artworks, except perhaps as a metaphorical reference in some of them.
posted by signal at 5:37 AM on November 11, 2003

Some of them, like "wheatfield" in which a field of wheat replaces a landfill (with the statue of liberty in the background), are both metaphorical and ecological. Some, like "Iris Blades and Rowan Berries", perhaps just highlight the fragile beauty and the specific nature of "nature" at a given moment. Some are installations that rely on natural cycles of growth and decay to transform over time, and some works actively address known ecological problems:

"In 1995 a wildlife reservation on the island of Cozumel off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula inspired a major project by the artist called "Santuario" (Sanctuary). "Two successive hurricanes had devastated the area, alarming biologists who feared native birds might not return to the area if nesting materials were not available. Working closely with biologists from the Mexican Ministry of the Interior, Gutierrez created nesting structures that successfully drew the birds back to their native shores."

Anyway, signal, maybe you're right - but I am curious what you would consider valid ecological art.
posted by taz at 8:47 AM on November 11, 2003

That damn Spiral Jetty....I'll take Andy Goldsworthy any day.

Meanwhile - would crop circles constitute ecological art? - If they are made by humans? If they are made by aliens?
posted by troutfishing at 9:37 AM on November 11, 2003

I always thought the core of ecologism as an ideology was the idea that man is not free to do with nature as he pleases, and that it is ultimately not possible to mold nature to our desires.

Most of these works, including the idea of trying to artificially undo the natural effects of hurricanes on the environment, seem to me to be the exact opposite. There are some interesting ideas here, but calling these works "ecological" strikes me as disingenuous at best.
posted by fuzz at 10:35 AM on November 11, 2003

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