Art and biodiversity: sustainable art ?

Plastik, a bi-lingual (French-English) online journal on art & science published at Institut Acte (CNRS and Université Paris 1 Sorbonne), is announcing the following open call for articles for its upcoming 4th issue on “Art and biodiversity: sustainable art?” (deadline: June 15, 2013 – the call is also available in French language here):

“Interest in ecology and sustainable development is unprecedented, as is to the increasing concern overshadowing society’s well-being. With the news of massive deforestation and the scarcity of water resources, we are continually reminded of how animal and vegetable species are endangered. It’s clear that the need to respect the environment is shared by all but that natural resources are being exhausted through conflict of interest and contradictory action. As a result living and endangered organisms are affected by a kind of universal heritage value, as if representing the memory of an uncertain future.

Since the ’60s, artists have testified to, and denounced, through their work, the ravages that human activity has brought on a planetary scale. With art interventions that have taken place in nature or have been an actual part of a landscape, the concepts of the environment, of site and territory, have become more visible in the art world. By demonstrating the physical properties of the material, and of the living, such artworks – whether perennial or ephemeral, in natural or developed spaces – actively call for the spectator’s participation, alternately as observer, walker, or explorer in a double game with the attitude of the artist him/herself. To what extent have the new contours of spatialization in an artwork and art’s modus operandi in general contributed to the change in the way we look at the natural world? What impact has it all had on increasing the general public’s awareness, and of protecting our environment?

Between the esthetic and ethics, art and the science of the living, the 4th edition of Plastik will present an evaluation of the perimeters of action and the meaning of artistic practice dealing with the subject of safeguarding biodiversity. The ties between environmental issues and artistic creation will be tackled from the point of view of the real as well as the symbolic scope of such practices, between the implementation of an ecological, imaginary approach, and social commitment. We will try to understand the propositions revealed by artworks which entertain a relationship to the balance at play between the living and the extinction of species. What kind of response do such artworks develop in relation to this new challenge, launched by scientists, as being of the greatest interest for humanity? Is it ecological art or ecologically-made art? Can one talk of eco-gestures in art? Through their experience as researchers, artists, critics, or exhibition curators, the authors will gather together a collection of testimonials and studies, questioning the procedures in order to understand how the preservation of biodiversity has become the subject of today’s most significative artworks.”

The editors of this journal are “asking:
– Are researchers, and artists, in the face of environmental challenges: the new crisis managers?
– Notions of creation and destruction, safeguarding and conservation
– Reevaluating nature, landscape, and territory
– Eco-art, the green esthetic, neo-naturalism, sustainable art?
– Collaborative environmental intervention
– Animal ethics in artistic practice, abolitionism and welfarism
– The eco design approach, and individual commitment?
– Implementing art and eco-gestures : exploration-fiction, surveying, plantations, collecting, ethnography, gentle intervention
– Museums, institutions and their ecological responsibilities”

Admission criteria for articles

Authors are invited to propose texts of between 10 000 and 20 000 characters/signs (not including spaces). Contributions can contain up to 10 images with a resolution of 72 dpi.

Images should be sent separately, with mention of their place, title and source. The same goes for pictures and other illustrations under format image. The first page must contain: the title of the article, the name of the author(s), their affiliation, email and postal address, a summary of 10 to 15 lines and a list of keywords characterizing the contents of the article.

Deadline for articles: Please send your articles by email before June 15, 2013, to Agnès FOIRET, agnes.foiret-collet@univ-paris1.fr and to Olga KISSELEVA, olga [dot] kisseleva [at] univ-paris1 [dot] fr