My paper Constructing a resilience aesthetic in the face of zombie environmentalism was presented at Regarding the Earth: Ecological Vision in Word and Image on the weekend:
A recent trend in twenty-first century relations with the natural world has been a ‘darkening’ in the tone of debate. The popularity of the zombie as a cultural symbol points towards our apparent attraction to the ‘dark side’ where polluted environmental conditions make for ‘sexy’ contemporary art. Disengagement with the consequences of individual or collective behaviours leaves plenty of scope for an alternative aesthetics of complexity and connection. Countering a certain tendency in environmentalism for retreating from disaster and ‘battening down the hatches,’ I will mobilise concepts of ecological complexity, resilience and advances in adaptive management, drawing attention to existing artworks and artists exploring a conception of the world as a network of dynamic ecological circumstances. Eight potential directions for critical future creative works will be discussed. The paper invites an aesthetics of action in the face of the inevitable uncertainties inherent in an ecological world view.