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The Ecology of Art

ENGL 016.401
crosslisted as: ARTH 100, URBS 106, CIMS 016
instructor(s):
T 1:30-4:30
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

This course will examine the fascination with ecology in artistic
thinking from late Modernism to the present, with a particular
attention to the developing interest in social and environmental
systems in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  From Robert Smithson’s
Spiral Jetty to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, artists, scholars and
activists of this generation were deeply invested in the
interconnectedness of life in all its forms. This new sensitivity to
the affinities that bind individuals, and our vulnerability to social,
political and economic environments, enabled new aesthetic approaches
that have continued relevance today.  As part of the course, we will
meet with a range of artists, curators and institutions in
Philadelphia who are continuing these investigations, including the
Colored Girls Museum in Germantown and the Health Ecologies Lab here
at Penn. No familiarity with contemporary art is required.