urgent ecologies

The final activity organised for the CAST research network is URGENT ECOLOGIES: CONVERSATIONS ON ART AND TRANSFORMATION: A one day symposium.

Human transformations of our environment have long been a focus for art, writing and performance. The unprecedented environmental challenges we face today demand we pay attention to the Urgent Ecologies in which we are now embedded and complicit. If art, writing and performance are underpinned by the invisible, and in some cases, highly visible, powers of cultural institutions and social borders, what does it mean to think about transformation? It is not just that we have a need for transformative responses to current political, social and geographical horrors, but that we must also consider transformation as an activator of new forms of thought. In an environment of constant and unfathomable change, the tools of critical romanticism are perhaps as valid as those of protest. If we really are about to adopt the language of the Anthropocene and humans are to be thought of as a ‘geological force’ then where should we look first?

Urgent Ecologies brings together a leading group of critical and cutting edge thinkers to assert the unequivocal importance of work that challenges and expands our knowledge of the violent sites we now occupy. Drawing on multiple knowledges and ways of being from French ethico-aesthetics to Indigenous expertise and presence, Urgent Ecologies will ask how we might begin to match the scale of our thought with that of the catastrophe around us. What alliances can we usefully form and what patterns might be revealed, for thinking both about today and the future? In particular Urgent Ecologies seeks to show how the activities of art, writing and performance add to our knowledge of the current geological age.

Speakers include: Deborah Bird Rose (UNSW), Linda Williams (RMIT), Lucas Ihlein (UOW), Tanja Dreher (UOW), Danny Butt (Melbourne), Su Ballard(UOW), Ian Milliss (Artist), and Keith Armstrong (QUT).

Date: Friday 7th November

Ian Milliss and Lucas Ihlein, "Aerial View of Nevallan, Western Sydney", offset lithographic print from "The Yeomans Project", 2011-14.
Ian Milliss and Lucas Ihlein, “Aerial View of Nevallan, Western Sydney”, offset lithographic print from “The Yeomans Project”, 2011-14.