Climate Chaos. Making Art and Politics on a Dying Planet
Formulates an anarchist aesthetics exploring what art can mean in and do in the Anthropocene
Kant sought to contain the ancient fear and terror of the natural world in his concept of the sublime. He argued that with human reason we could safely confront an uncontrolled and powerful natural world. But today we no longer have the luxury of the Kantian sublime as we face the oppressive claustrophobic horror of drastic global climate change.
The earth itself is now threatened and livelihoods are more precarious. A new sublime incorporating the experience of awe and immensity – coupled with a profound respect for the presence of a great and unpredictable force of nature – can shape our response to the Anthropocene. Climate Chaosreassesses the Kantian sublime, opening up the opportunity to reconsider its dark side and our own fears, as we come face to face with the agency of nature beyond a rational response. Can we find ways to change our thinking, art, and politics to move beyond through the catastrophe of the present? A new aesthetics and a new political narrative of living in harmony with the earth is emerging.
Bio: Neala Schleuning is a writer and educator. She received her PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota in 1978 with an emphasis in political philosophy and intellectual history. Fulbright Scholar to the Russian Federation, she is the author of many articles, higher education policy papers, films and radio productions, and several books, including Artpolitik: Social Anarchist Aesthetics in an Age of Fragmentation (2013), America: Song We Sang Without Knowing(1983); Idle Hands and Empty Hearts: Work and Freedom in the United States(1990); Women, Community, and the Hormel Strike of 1985-86(1994); and To Have and to Hold: the Meaning of Ownership in the United States(1997). Continue reading →