In the last couple of years, the new media art world has been flooded with projects and research addressing global climate changes. This paper rectifies misconceptions related to the production and development in this art field, by critical and creative analysis of the projects that are ‘green’, environmentally aware and which have potential in affecting communities outside of the field.
A majority of the projects approach environmental issues by emphasizing these problems repeatedly within the art communities that are already aware of them. By various visualizations of scientific, environmental and weather data or the beautifications of various natural phenomena along with numerous other methods, artists are fashionably producing, without being able to affect the climate changes. These trends affect more and more the ordinary consumer. What kind of forms in the art world and what kind of lifestyles in the consumer world are designed and implemented to create an eco-human? What are the effects that our environment takes when we become green or eco-human?
Zizek defines ecology as the new opium for the masses, which becomes another element of the ‘invisible hand’ and where living eco friendly and being environmentalist are new commodities that seduce civil society. The Marxist phrase ‘they do not know it, but they are doing it’ is still valid here and it is compared to current conditions in the market of green products. This paper maps the positions and roles of the artists in creating new media artworks addressing the issues of world climate change, environmentalism, green technologies and renewable energies.
What is invading this world of art are a variety of fields where we notice intersections of activism, environmentalism, informational theories and where the notion of creation is neglected and surpassed by the formerly mentioned disciplines.
This paper analyzes various new media art projects and phenomena that are initiating social changes and which could be framed under the ‘green’ and environmental art umbrella. Projects that are analyzed are the works of: Buckminster Fuller, Joseph Beuys, Theo Jansen, Marko Peljhan, Beatriz Da Costa, Natalie Jeremijenko, Andrea Polli, Heath Bunting, Foam, etc. Affecting social changes, civil society and various social spaces is deconstructed by analysis of the following: what communities are those projects addressing, what are the possible questions raised, and in what ways are those groups affecting? Mapped are the methods that resonate and transmit changes of people’s mindsets, both inside and outside of the field.
- Vladimir Todorovic is an experimental filmmaker, new media artist and an educator. syntfarm.org