Affective poetics & Public access: the critical challenges of environmental art.

Linda Williams


While this paper recognises that the dominant discourses of contemporary art remain anthropocentric, it identifies environmental art as a relatively recent movement in a shift towards a nascent cultural recognition of shared human and nonhuman global ecologies. Using the heuristic contrast of a ‘slow’ art of affective poetics as against a ‘fast’ art of public accessibility, the paper aims to define some of the major critical challenges of contemporary environmental art. In particular, whilst acknowledging the pressing need for a cultural response to climate change and loss of biodiversity, it considers some of the problems in the use of what it refers to heuristically as ‘fast’ art as a means of proselytising an environmental message. On the other hand, the paper questions how a ‘slow’ art of affective poetics might be adapted to reach a wider public.



Environmental Art, Climate Change,Affect, Global ecologies, Ecocriticism, Public Art.

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