[ISEA2022] Paper: Valérie Paquet & Jonathan Rouleau — The art of urgency: cultural mediation as a vehicle for socio-ecological transition


Short paper, theme: Natures and Worlds: Ecosystems and hibryd agencies
Venue: CCCB, date: June 15

Keywords: Cultural mediation, socio-ecological transition, map

The climate emergency has led to a growing recognition of the need for a socio-ecological transition. This recognition has strong cultural dimensions, shaped by representations and narratives as potential vehicles of change. Cultural mediation is a way of connecting these realms. It can stimulate ex-changes between actors (citizens, organizations, policymakers), and ultimately help produce dynamics of change and new solidarities.
ARTENSO, a research centre in art and social engagement, explored the possibilities of these intersections by conducting documentary research on the relationship between artistic and ecological interventions. It illuminated the relationships be-tween art, culture and social-ecological change, both in their conceptual dimensions and through practical considerations. It developed a tripartite typology to map initiatives that bring about transformations in the current social and environmental context.
This study suggests that artists and cultural organizations can become agents of social change by exploring new methods and processes. Often conceived and presented separately, engaged art and ecologically responsible practices are nevertheless dimensions that, when articulated together, can challenge society on environmental issues, question the relationship between populations and the environment, and advance the fight against climate change.

  • Valérie Paquet, Artenso, Montreal, CA. ARTENSO is a College centre for transfer of innovative social practices, affiliated with Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montréal. Its mission is to promote the general interests and specific issues related to research and innovation in art and social engagement in the field of cultural mediation. [source: https://artenso.ca]
  • Jonathan Rouleau is a researcher and public policy advisor at the ARTENSO Centre (Montreal, CA). There, he led the comparative study and the Diagnostic des lieux en loisir culturel et pratique artistique amateur for the City of Montreal. He is now working on the cultural development plan for Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles. Jonathan is also responsible for the culture and socio-ecological transition project. [source: https://artenso.ca]