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Contemporary Art and Environmental Aesthetics

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Aesthetic debates within contemporary art have been tangential to the debates in environmental aesthetics since the 1960s. I argue that these disciplines, having evolved separately in response to the limitations of traditional aesthetics, may now usefully inform each other. Firstly, the dematerialisation of art as the focus of aesthetic experience may have environmentally useful consequences. Secondly, Gablik's 'connective aesthetics', like Berleant's 'aesthetics of engagement', folds aesthetic experience into the social as a kind of environmental aesthetics. Thirdly, contemporary art's flexible readings of 'framing' can respond to 'frameless' natural environments, and finally, Kester's 'dialogical aesthetics' may be enriched by Berleant's systematic account of 'contextual aesthetics'.

Keywords: connective aesthetics; dialogical aestheticst; environmental art; participatory

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2014) of 1.056.
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