Art in times of Climate Crisis

1 Feb 2023,

What is the role of art and aesthetics in the climate crisis? In what ways can artistic forms of expression contribute to societal transformation? Welcome to an evening with art historian T. J. Demos and artists Åsa Elzén and Malin Arnell, discussing art and aesthetics in times of climate crisis. The event is a collaboration between Accelerator and ART FOREST (The Arts for Resilient Futures) at Södertörn University. It also marks the beginning of Hållbarhetsdialoger (Sustainability Dialogues), a series of talks at Accelerator about the roles of art and research for a sustainable future.

1 February 18:00–20:00 at Accelerator. Language: English

Free entry. No pre-booking required.

T. J. Demos: Climate Aesthetics as Class War

Art historian T. J. Demos addresses the need to rethink climate aesthetics and politics in a time when climate denialism has merged with xenophobic ethnonationalism into what has been called “fossil fascism”. To build eco-socialism on a warming planet, he claims, requires working-class organizing: what does that look like today within a thoroughly neoliberal art system, considering recent transformations in ecologies of labor, as well as recent proposals for sustainable ecologies of collectivist art practices coming from the global South?

Åsa Elzén och Malin Arnell: Forest Calling

Artists Malin Arnell and Åsa Elzén present their collaborative project Forest Calling – A Never-ending Contaminated Collaboration or Dancing is a Form of Forest Knowledge. The work is a public art work, or monument, consisting of 3,7 ha growing forest taken out of production, that celebrates the multitude of forest life and the memory of the queer feminist Fogelstad group’s (1921 – c. 1954) practice for peace with the earth.

Read more about the artists work in the previous exhibition The Experimental Field.

About the participants

T. J. Demos, Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowed Chair in Art History in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, at University of California, Santa Cruz, and founding Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. Author of several books, including Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (2016).

Åsa Elzén, artist living and working in Näshulta, Sörmland. Her transdisciplinary practice manifests through installation, text, textile, video, performance and participatory situations. Her work has been exhibited at a. o. Accelerator, Sörmlands museum, Tensta konsthall, Moderna Museet, HKW Berlin, Brooklyn Museum.

Malin Arnell, PhD, visual and performance artist, researcher and educator. Through their commitment to a queer feminist, posthumanist and agential-realist approach Arnell has developed an in-depth practice of knowing-through-doing, which includes an extended ecological sensibility. Defended their PhD Dissertation at Stockholm University of the Arts 2016.

Photo: Åsa Elzén and Malin Arnell.