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Political, cultural, green
Andrew Patrizio

‘wary of holism, but needy for connection’ Donna Haraway, A Cyborg Manifesto , 1985) If Elizabeth Grosz is right in asserting that ‘art is not the antithesis of politics, but politics continued by other means’, 1 then it surely follows that art history must also be something of an oblique political strategy. The previous chapter has given us a firm orientation on ecology within the anarchist movement, exploring its potential to reimagine the discipline of art history. One of the fundamental positions of the ecological eye, however, is to

in The ecological eye
Andrew Patrizio

, in my view, to the social ecology of Murray Bookchin, who we look at in Part II . For Plumwood, the ‘disavowal of nature is accomplished through the hegemonic construction of autonomy and agency. A centric or colonising system typically differentiates very strongly between a privileged, hegemonic group awarded full agency status who are placed at the centre and excluded peripheral groups who are denied agency and whose contribution is discounted, neglected, denied, or rendered invisible.’ 10 She implies a posthuman approach as a way to develop a democratic and

in The ecological eye
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Assembling an ecocritical art history
Author: Andrew Patrizio

The ecological eye aims to align the discipline of art history with ecology, climate change, the Anthropocene and the range of politics and theoretical positions that will help to ground such an approach. It looks both backwards and forwards in order to promote the capacities of close attention, vital materialism, nonhierarchy, care and political ecology. The book seeks to place the history of art alongside its ecocritical colleagues in other humanities disciplines. Three main directions are discussed: the diverse histories of art history itself, for evidence of exemplary work already available; the politics of social ecology, Marxist ecologies and anarchy, showing its largely untapped relevance for work in art history and visual culture; and finally, emerging work in posthumanism and new materialism, that challenges unhelpful hierarchies across the human, animal, botanical and geological spheres. The ecological eye concludes with an appeal to the discipline to respond positively to the environmental justice movement.

Andrew Patrizio

many inverted commas, so many differing levels of ecological abuse.) Murray Bookchin, social ecology and culture By now, ecocritical thinking and anarchy are well bound together. Whilst this is intellectually unsurprising, especially given the polymathic interests of its earliest founders, in particular Kropotkin, it is certainly true that the manifestations over the late nineteenth century until the justice movements of the 1960s meant that anarchy’s more violent, divisive and urban contours were more generally visible. However, for Wilson and Kinna

in The ecological eye
Andrew Patrizio

Three Ecologies might help in setting out ‘an expanded definition of subjectivity: the emergence of subjective factors at the heart of the major political and social transformations of the 1980s, the increasing development of machinic forms of subjectivation, and finally the growing amplification of relevant ethico-aesthetic perspectives throughout the 1980s’. These three fields, as we have seen, are ‘mental (“nascent subjectivity”), social (“a constantly mutating socius”) and environmental ecology (“an environment in the process of being reinvented”)’. 21

in The ecological eye
Andrew Patrizio

exports due to the rhizomes they put out to grow, as they thrive on instability. 73 Crosby’s foundational historical account of dominant Europeans and their associated organisms (‘portmanteau biota’ 74 as he calls both) can be carried forward to more contemporary critical discussions of the detrimental role that industrialised farming plays today. Ecologies both deep and dark have looked in this direction. A deep ecological approach is put elegantly by Wendell Berry in books such as The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture (1977) and Home Economics (1987

in The ecological eye
Techniques, materials, land, energy, environments
Andrew Patrizio

‘On the surface of the globe, for living matter in general, energy is always in excess.’ (Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share , 1949) The kinds of ecologically orientated art history we have so far reviewed converge around no singular ideological position. This chapter is equally promiscuous in its discussion of at best only loosely connected ecocritical contributions (from technical art history and environmental aesthetics to land art and eco-aesthetics), with the difference that materiality, ecology and the environment lie in plain sight. What

in The ecological eye
Anarchism, social ecology and art
Andrew Patrizio

anarchist art historian, poet and political polemicist Herbert Read (1893–1968). Bookchin follows Kropotkin, as a major figure in 1960s–1990s libertarian socialist political theory, interested in nonhierarchical human formations as an expression of symbiotic organisation in the botanic and animal worlds more generally. He is rarely discussed in the realm of art and never in relation to art history, though in his classic and comprehensive work, The Ecology of Freedom (1982), and in his articulation of mutual aid and confederalism there are plenty of insights on utopian

in The ecological eye
Andrew Patrizio

-Western] regions of the planet, humans and nonhumans are not conceived as developing in incommunicable worlds or according to quite separate principles. The environment is not regarded objectively as an autonomous sphere. Plants and animals, rivers and rocks, meteors and seasons do not exist all together in an ontological niche defined by the absence of human beings.’ 1 There are clear political links here too to nonhierarchical ontologies that can migrate from anarchist and social ecology theory, which is more or less engaged with in new materialism, for example. But

in The ecological eye
Abstract only
Andrew Patrizio

humanities, the discipline can ‘find the inspirational courage to move beyond an exclusive concern for the human … and to embrace more planetary intellectual challenges’. 1 The ecological eye as a project is distinctive in its aim to blend neglected ecocritical art histories of the past with sympathetic political ecologies that have hitherto made little impact. And these domains hybridise within these pages, again in distinct ways, with forward-looking trajectories in posthumanism, new materialism and ecological theory. A revitalisation is in the offing, with this book

in The ecological eye