“The work needs to do the work” James Bridle emphasizes in a short online talk of his, discussing the role of art in the era of the climate crisis. “To make artworks about ecology is not representative anymore. It is not only about telling stories. It is certainly not only about conveying facts. We already know everything we need to know; rather, we need to do the work.” Bridle, interestingly, is also speaking with reference to his own practice, as an artist who until recently was working on and with technology and now is more interested in the use of renewable energy and in agricultural systems. His statement can be understood within the context of an art that is merged with activism, community and collaborative work, and, of course, also ecology. It points to an art that takes a stance, having a social and political character, and to practices that are useful because they provide tools and communicate knowledge. Different associations can be made, as Bridle stresses that we need actual actions that can create new narratives.
What is wrong with existing art-driven narratives and representations, though, and what are those much-needed actions? How has the relationship of technology to ecology been understood thus far? What has the role of art been in understanding, forming, or even changing this relationship, and how can it be re-imagined?
(excerpt from the introduction)