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A&E.A:Response to, "How does the process of contemporary ecological , art making differ from the pro

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Cathleen D Lane (cdlane)
Sat, 8 Nov 1997 15:14:22 -0700 (MST)

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Howdy Artsednetters!

The differences between the process of studio art and the process of
contemporary ecological art center around convictions, lifestyle choices,
and what the artists' passions are. For example, artist Mierle Ukeles
states: "I feel we have a very short time to save the planet. The more
scientists I talk to the more I'm convinced of this." Artists feel an
urgency to do something about the preservation and healing of the world.
It is no wonder, then, that artist are often called upon for suggestions
to local ecolgical problems, artists like Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison.
Barbara Matilsky explains that ecologicial artists differ from others
because "by following individual pursuits, their work is often sponsored
by an institution and is a cooperative venture between artist and the
community". She notes that ecological art embraces a unifying message:
the art pieces attempt to preserve and heal the environment, but also
attempt to reestablish an awareness and respect for nature.

David Floria, director of IFTA, notes: ecological art is not geared at
decorating the world, or "doing art for art's sake", but rose out of a
greater societal need. Ecological art moved out of the gallery and
museums and into the landscape. It focuses on earthly needs and what
really matters to mankind.

Ecolgical art evolved because of the growing concern about the
environmental issues that plaque us world-wide. Mary Jane Jacobs
relates: "It is not art for public spaces, but art addressing public
issues". Alan Sonfist comments that ecology "stresses man's biological
origins, his kinship with all life and his continued membership and
dependency on the biotic community".

The processes of ecological art and studio art differ because the
convictions, motivations, intents, passions, and lifestyle choices differ.
The ecological artist takes art outdoors and into the landscape because
this is where the ecological artist is most concerned: the earth.

Cathy Lane


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