Transition of Environmental Art: In Search of the Strategies for Sustainability


The range of work referred as Environmental Art encompasses a wide variety of post-war art making and has been given a number of labels such as Land Art, Earthworks, Eco-Art etc. While its definition is constantly changing, its development largely reflects the evolution of eco-thought.  In the 1960s numerous artists conceived Environmental Art chiefly to oppose the commodification of the art market. However, environmental concerns were not necessarily the core issues, despite the fact that environmentalism was born at that time. Actually the practice of American Land Artists complements the ideas of conquest and exploration that characterised the industrial era, remaining loyal to anthropocentric perspectives, which interpret reality in terms of human values and experiences.    During the 1980s and 1990s the term installation art replaced Environmental Art to describe works of art that privilege an immersive experience over medium-specificity. Consequently in subsequent years the term has been associated with artists who pursue environmental and conservationist agendas. One of the defining features of Environmental Art is the ecocentric perspective, which regards humans as components of interconnected systems. Considering its increasing popularity and significance in the current age of climate change and enhanced global warming, it is important to clarify its position as a potential crucial art movement. This study focuses on how selected artists have responded to the issues of environment - specifying their approaches and strategies that could be useful for further investigation.

Author Information
Shoso (Kuninori) Shimbo, RMIT University, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2017
Stream: Arts - Visual Arts Practices

This paper is part of the ACAH2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon