In recent years, slow, de- and post-growth imaginaries have increasingly entered mainstream discourses, particularly in the field of environmentalism. Many scholars argue that changing and reducing global consumption patterns should be at the heart of climate and biodiversity action. At the heart of this discussion lies the question of what constitutes the good life. Given the poor levels of physical and mental health in globalised societies, post-growth advocates and (green) growth critics would argue that our present values are working neither for society nor for the planet. They argue that we should strive for sufficiency, not accumulation.
This event explores what it would mean to integrate these concepts into art and exhibition practices in Scotland. If we take post-growth as an intellectual provocation that highlights deficits in our current systems, then what role can the art sector perform? In the first instance, it might work to reduce its carbon emissions. But, beyond that, what potential do the arts have for widening our understanding of positive environmental action?
Our panel of four speakers has been invited to provide a diverse yet open perspective, and to encourage critical dialogue. The speakers are Emma Nicolson (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh/ Atlas Arts), Nick Addington (William Grant Foundation), Dr. Lucy Steeds (University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Tim Collins (Collins & Goto Studio). The event will be chaired by Anne Daffertshofer, a doctoral researcher and founder of Looking North - a public engagement programme that brings together artists, nature writers and conservation projects to reflect critically on notions of landscape, nature and energy in Scotland and beyond.
Looking North Presents: Exploring Sufficiency and Post-Growth in Art & Exhibition Practices in Scotland is supported by the British Art Network (BAN). BAN is a Subject Specialist Network supported by Tate and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, with additional public funding provided by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The Network promotes curatorial research, practice and theory in the field of British Art. Its members include curators, academics, artist-researchers, conservators, producers and programmers at all stages of their professional lives. Visit https://britishartnetwork.org.uk/ for more information.
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