Ecological art is an art genre and artistic practice that seeks to preserve, remediate and/or vitalize the life forms, resources and ecology of Earth, by applying the principles of ecosystems to living species and their habitats throughout the lithosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere, including wilderness, rural, suburban and urban locations. It is a distinct genre from Environmental art in that it involves functional ecological systems-restoration, as well as socially engaged, activist, community-based interventions. Ecological art also addresses politics, culture, economics, ethics and aesthetics as they impact the conditions of ecosystems. Ecological art practitioners include artists, scientists, philosophers and activists who often collaborate on restoration, remediation and public awareness projects.
Ecological art is a genre in the field of contemporary art that presents artistic activity that began in response to the global environmental crisis. This art merges an aesthetic, informative and educational art that strives to promote environmental awareness and community involvement in environmental restoration in nature.
Ecological art is expressed in a variety of artistic methods such as sculpture, painting, photography, video art, assemblage, environmental installation, environmental sculpture, poetry, cinema, Many other methods. Within the genre of ecological art there are additional categories, such as the art of land restoration and environmental art, whose main purpose is to rehabilitate the environment aesthetically, to restore ecological systems in artistic ways that combine cooperation with a variety of groups such as artists, geologists, biologists, engineers, scientists, architects Social and community groups.
An artist in the field of ecological art usually tries, through his art, to present his philosophical perspective and to raise awareness in society of the importance of rational use of natural resources, human damage to water, air, land, human damage to the environment as a result of consumption. Ecological art aims to promote a change in human consciousness in order to strengthen the interrelationships between art, culture and sustainability.
Beginning in the 1960s, several artists, mostly Germans, such as Nikolaus Lang, Lili Fischer, Hans Haakke, Joseph Bois and Alan Sonfist, began a new work of art that emphasizes contact with the human environment. As part of their artistic work, they tried to explore the materials on the ground, the ground and the landscape. Their work was primarily an art that explored the need to protect the environment in which human beings live.
Some of these artists began collecting constant details of reality, everyday objects, remains of landscapes, sites and more. In their attempt to bridge the gap between life and art. They also incorporated works with ecological aspects in their works. Lang, for example, presented a museum collection of artifacts he collected around the world, including dry reports from the field about the activities of wandering and collecting. His representation included remnants of cultures that the white man had destroyed. Fischer, who was active in Hamburg, went on a journey to discover used and old objects when she moved from house to house and offered new brushes for the return. The old brushes that she collected, she later incorporated in her representations when she tried to demonstrate that objects and nature have their own qualities that receive special depth and meaning when dealt with over time.
Environmental art is a generic term that refers to art whose main object or subject is ecology and the natural environment. It could include landscape paintings, for example, but in practice it is usually used to design artistic actions, installations and sculptures from the second half of the 20th century in a natural outer environment. Typically, some of the art of the earth are included in this category, for example, in order to have landscapes and environments of the natural environment.
The 2012 book, Toward Global (Environ)Mental Change – Transformative Art and Cultures of Sustainability, proposes that the global crisis of unsustainability is a disruption of the hardware of civilization, as well as a crisis of the software of the human mind. The 2004 book, Ecological aesthetics: art in environmental design: theory and practice, presents an analysis of a variety of tendencies and approaches to landscape architecture, science and theory that inform research and the transformation of the landscape for over thirty years. Green Arts Web, compiled by Carnegie Mellon University senior librarian, Mo Dawley, is a compendium of core readings on contemporary environmental art, ecological art and theory (20th century to the present) that includes, among other sub-categories, for example, deep ecology practices; ecofeminism; ecopsychology; land ethic and bioregionalism; sense of place; and systems thinking.
Artists considered to be working within this field subscribe to one or more of the following principles:
Focus on the web of interrelationships in our environment—on the physical, biological, cultural, political, and historical aspects of ecological systems.
Create works that employ natural materials or engage with environmental forces such as wind, water, or sunlight.
Reclaim, restore, and remediate damaged environments.
Inform the public about ecological dynamics and the environmental problems we face.
Revise ecological relationships, creatively proposing new possibilities for coexistence, sustainability, and healing.
Ecological art involves numerous diverse approaches, including:
Representational artwork: reveals information and conditions through image-making and object-making with the intention of stimulating dialogue.
Remediation projects: reclaim or restore polluted and disrupted environments – these artists often work with environmental scientists, landscape architects and urban planners.
Activist and protest art: engage, inform, energize and activate change of behaviors and/or public policy.
Social sculptures: are socially engaged, time-based artwork that involve communities in monitoring their landscapes, and take a participatory role in sustainable practices and lifestyles.
Ecopoetic art: initiate a re-envisioning of the natural world, inspiring co-existence with other species.
Direct encounter artworks: utilize natural phenomena such as water, weather, sunlight, plants, etc.
Didactic or pedagogical works: share information about environmental injustice and ecological problems such as water and soil pollution and health hazards through education.
Lived-and-relational aesthetics: involve sustainable, off-the-grid, permaculture existences.
Contemporary ecological art has been articulated across interdisciplinary and scholarly groups in terms of life-centered issues, community participation, public dialogue, and ecological sustainability. In 1996, the educator and activist, Don Krug identified concepts frequently addressed by ecological artists that can be used by to interpret ecological perspectives and practices. The following four orientations were identified: Environmental Design, Ecological Design, Social Restoration, and Ecological Restoration.
Environmental design – Some artists work with nature as a resource for particular aesthetic endeavors. Artists with an orientation to environmental design are interested in achieving particular formal aesthetic effects. In the 1980s and 90s, artists, architects, designers, and civil engineers explored ways to link art, aesthetics, ecology, and culture.
Ecological design – Artists who work in the area of ecological design create art that is contingent on direct experiences and interactions with a particular place where the art is created. An ecological view of design considers the artwork within larger contexts of how people, plants, and animals are interconnected with each other, the site, and/or the earth.
Social restoration – An ecological ethic where humans live in relationship to larger communities of life to catalyze socially responsible artwork. Socio-ecological artists critically examine everyday life experiences. These artists scrutinize relations of power that produce community tensions about ecological issues.
Ecological restoration – Some artists attempt to alert viewers to environmental issues and problems through scientific exploration and educational documentation. They seek to restore fragile places and educate the public to the systemic character of bioregions through the use of communication, ritual, and performance. Some ecological artists engage people directly in activities or actions by confronting environmentally unhealthy practices with social, ethical, and moral ecological concerns.
Art historical precedents include environmental art, earthworks, land art, sustainable art, landscape painting, and landscape photography. While historical examples may reach back to neolithic times, according to the history published in the book, Ecovention: current art to transform ecologies, a short list of key works include Herbert Bayer’s Grass Mound (1955) at the Aspen Art Institute, Aspen, CO; Joseph Beuys 1962 proposed action to clean up the Elbe River in Hamburg, German; Hans Haacke’s 1965 manifesto for time-based, “natural”, dynamic indeterminate art; Nicolas Uriburu’s 1968 performance “Green Power, coloration Grand Canal – Venice” and Agnes Denes’s 1968 performance, Haiku Poetry Burial, Rice Planting and Tree Chaining/Exercises in Eco-Logic, in Sullivan County, New York. 1969 was a watershed year for ecological art practices, including Haacke’s Grass Grows in Ithaca, NY; Alan Sonfist’s activities articulating the significance of native forests in urban areas and his action to monitor air quality in New York city. Betty Beaumont documented the clean-up of what was the worst U.S. ocean oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, while Mierle Laderman Ukeles wrote Manifesto for Maintenance Art (Spaid) In 1969, the John Gibson Gallery in New York city mounted the exhibition, Ecologic Art, that included the work of Will Insley, Claes Oldenburg, Christo, Peter Hutchinson, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Morris, Bob Smithson, Carl Andre, Christo, Jan Dibbets, and Richard Long. In 1969–1970, Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison collaborated on mapping endangered species around the world. In 1971, artist Bonnie Sherk performs Public Lunch with the Animals in the Lion House of the San Francisco Zoo. From 1972 to 1979, Helen and Newton Harrison realize seven projects designed for and about lagoons in California.
The 1972 essay, Art and Ecological Consciousness by Gyorgy Kepes in his book, Arts of the Environment. presents the genre as distinct from environmental art. In the 1992 exhibition and book, Fragile Ecologies: Contemporary Artists’ Interpretations and Solutions, art historian, Dr. Barbara Matilsky differentiates ecological art from environmental art in that the former has ethical underpinnings. In 1993, a workshop and exhibition, specifically about ecological systems and art, was presented by Don Krug, Renee Miller and Barbara Westfall at the Society for Ecological Restoration in Irvine, California. The term ecovention, was coined in 1999 as a conjunction of the words ecology and intervention, in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name curated by Amy Lipton and Sue Spaid, representing artist’s projects that use inventive strategies to physically transform a local ecology. In a 2006 UNESCO research report for the Art in Ecology think tank on arts and sustainability, “Mapping the Terrain of Contemporary EcoArt Practice and Collaboration,” the artist Beth Carruthers uses the term Ecoart. A current definition of ecological art drafted collectively by the EcoArt Network of international artists, founded in 1998, is: “Ecological Art is an art practice that embraces an ethic of social justice in both its content and form/materials. EcoArt is created to inspire caring and respect, stimulate dialogue, and encourage the long-term flourishing of the social and natural environments in which we live. It commonly manifests as socially engaged, activist, community-based restorative or interventionist art.”
Boyce, Hakka, and Sonfist were the first pioneers to explore ecological and social issues through art that addresses real-time problems related to politics, economic systems, ecology, industry, and other daily life experiences. Bois invented the revolutionary term “Everyone is an artist” and worked to stimulate social change to encourage social sculpting to solve environmental problems, to address community problems related to urban ecology, and to work against deforestation and habitat destruction A model for a generation of young artists in the world. “Joseph Beuys’ tree-planting operation, which he called” social sculpture “and presented in the seventh documante in Kassel, 1982, is a good example of this type of art.”
There are those who argue [that it is necessary] that Boyce’s conception of social sculpture and his famous saying “Everyone can be an artist” are two key elements that drive today’s social practices. These two principles are a clear expression of what seems to have been Boyce’s utopian vision that sought to develop a social organism that would turn art into a revolutionary force with concrete significance for society (a model he called Expanded Art). Community-based art – like Boyce’s – is a broad spectrum of artistic endeavor.
Bois was a partner in the establishment of many organizations and institutions, including the Organization for Direct Democracy through a referendum and the Green Party in Germany. One of Bois’ greatest projects was the establishment of the Free International University, which promoted forms of experimental pedagogy. The university served as a multidisciplinary framework that included cultural studies, sociology and economics, based mostly on discussions and conversations that were open to the public without admission or tuition fees. Boyce believed that higher education should be accessible to all and that it was a framework in which the individual should find the creative potential inherent in it.
In Israel too, the great influence of Joseph Beuys is evident. The name Boyce came to the Israeli art scene in the late 1960s and late 1970s. Boyce’s influence on Israeli artists began immediately after the Six Day War and reached its peak after the Yom Kippur War. In 1970, the Israeli artist Yitzhak Danziger traveled to Germany as a consultant to Bezalel and met Bois there. Following the meeting, the two began collaborating and planning environmental projects that combined site restoration, ecology and culture to create ecological art.
Boyce’s influence on Israeli art has been exhibited in art exhibitions in various exhibitions over the years throughout the country.
In parallel with the development of the field of ecological art in Germany, an American-Lutheran artist named George McKayas founded the Fluxus group, whose members advocated artistic experimentation with new materials and techniques combined with political activism. These artists were scattered in several countries in Europe and the United States and were called the “Fluxus Group”. The group advocated artistic experimentation with new materials and techniques combined with political activism. The activists in the group were members of various political organizations that worked to solve ecology problems in the community and urban ecology and worked with various communities to plant trees and other activities.
The “Fluxus Group” artists encouraged a DIY-style approach and values of simplicity, whose members criticized Western commercialization and worked with everyday materials they found, and the activities of the group were outside the commercial galleries. One shared the style of a group of Fluxus artists, some of whom were collecting and assembling and creating from junk materials such as cigarette butts and wafer wrappers (now referred to as “the art of recycling”), while others dealt with video art, drawings, musical and literary works.
Development of ecological art:
In 1962 the book “The Silent Spring” was published. The book, written by marine geologist Rachel Carson, documented the harmful effects on the environment in the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Carson claims that because of the structure of the food chain in the animal world, insecticide-targeted pesticides eventually affect the entire fabric and that some substances, such as DDT, harm human health. The book was a major commercial success in the world and brought Carson to lecture on this subject around the world. The book provoked a storm and was one of the factors that led to a change in national policy in the United States when a national ban on the use of pesticides for agricultural use was accepted. The supplier also inspired the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States.
Following Carson’s book, the artists Helen Meir and Newton Harrison began to create innovative art. One of their first projects was a “mobile orchard” project where visitors could experience natural plant growth and be aware of how the most urban residents away from the natural processes of agriculture would be exposed to indoor art spaces. Their projects have been international in creating art and writing articles dealing with education for the creation of ecological art, green art, visual arts and art education, which serves to raise awareness and connect with environmental concepts and issues.
In 1980, members of the environmental organization Earth were the first to create art relating to the state of the earth. In their art they expressed the value of the arts that helped us to remember that there is not only fear, sorrow and loss of human damage to the environment, but there is a huge need for hope, beauty and creativity through the art of workshops, seminars, writing and creativity.
In 1989, an article was published by the artists Christophe Brunner, Roberto Nigro and Gerald Reunig in which they presented aesthetic practices, which were first described as ecological art, exploring contemporary forms of activism in various techniques. For the first time, they propose integrating ecological art into technologies as part of the post-media era. Post-communication era in which ecological art technologies and techniques create subjective art that is also expressed in sounds and sounds, in virtual art to promote social justice and environmental justice through art.
In 2006, a think tank for art and sustainability was established in Vancouver, Canada by the Canadian Arts Council, the UNESCO Canada Committee, the Vancouver Foundation and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Production and Trade in London, UK.) All organizations worked collaboratively to produce an initial document examining environmental issues The committee published an initial document examining the trends, problems and developments in ecological art, collaborations between artists, environmental organizations, communities and scientists The committee investigated the process that began in the 1960s and although the terminology of this art is not precisely defined, S is expressed through the relationship between art and the environment.
At the end of the research process, the article was published in a number of sections on ecological art:
Corrective art – or art to restore land, water, which occurs naturally to systems and habitats.
Community-based art – projects that combine creativity and work in collaboration with the community.
Art Ground works – a type of contemporary art that uses the landscape, soil or environment, as a science, technology, industry (STI).
Ecological art (green art) – works that seek to change, mediate or inform cultural / social ideologies / beliefs and behaviors.
Science / Art – Collaborations between art and science from an ecological and technological standpoint.
Sustainable development – art that relates to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs.
Most eco-art projects are collaborative, whether initiated by artists, environmental organizations, museums or local communities, and tend to be connected to a sense of location and local concerns about environmental pollution from waste, contaminated water, air pollution, soil erosion, habitat loss, logging and overuse. Of natural resources. These projects are less exhibited in the galleries but are visible in the field in order to strengthen the awareness and involvement of the community in protecting the environment.
This art is also integrated with art education in environmental education as a means of developing awareness and interaction with environmental concepts and topics, such as conservation and reconstruction of buildings, rehabilitation and sustainability. Through the study of ecological art and environmental education, an innovative approach is being developed to ecological and environmental education that will lead to future projects and major collaborations on global issues such as climate change and the strengthening of the global connection of humans to the Earth.