Pool X: Bordering Human/Natures: Political Ecology in Contemporary Art 

Rory Rowan (*1980, Belfast) is a political geographer and cultural critic. His research spans widely across critical social theory, political ecology and the environmental humanities, and currently focuses on the political and philosophical dimensions of the Anthropocene, planetary governance and the emergence of private industry in outer space. He is author with Claudio Minca of On Schmitt and Space (Routledge, 2015) and regularly contributes writing on politics, art and cultural criticism to a number of print and online publication as well as working collaboratively with artists and curators. From 2014-2017 he was a Lecturer and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Political Geography Research Unit at the University of Zurich.
Nummer und TypMAF-MAF-Po00.18F.010 / Moduldurchführung
VeranstalterDepartement Fine Arts
LeitungRory Rowan
Anzahl Teilnehmendemaximal 18
ECTS3 Credits
VoraussetzungenStudents MFA
Students from other Master Programs: (Master-Platform CH) please apply via mail after February 5 to: stefanie.lanfranconi@zhdk.ch
InhalteThis course seeks to examine the various ways in which the relationship between humans and the natural world is conceived and constructed today, and how these conceptions and constructions are coming under pressure from planetary environmental change and rapidly transforming social dynamics. The course explores how contemporary artists have explored the political and ecological stakes of these shifting boundaries. It pays particular attention to how the borders between humans and nature are produced, practiced and enforced on the one hand, whilst blurred, undermined and exceeded on the other. Crucially it seeks to examine how these human-nature borders are wrapped back into the ‘body politic’ along the axes of race, gender and colonial histories.
The course will explore these questions through a deep engagement with the work of contemporary artists in order to examine how their work has contributed to understanding these topics. It will also critically engage with a number of recent international exhibitions and curatorial initiatives relevant to these themes.
The course will closely engage key theoretical texts, a selection of contemporary artists’ work, cases drawn from recent exhibition history, the student’s own practices as well as excursions to exhibitions in and around Zurich and other relevant sites. All texts will be supplied before class start.
Bibliographie / LiteraturRequired
• Büscher, Bram (2016). “Rhino poaching is out of control!” Violence, Race and the Politics of Hysteria in Online Conservation.’ Environment and Planning A.
• de la Cadena, Marisol (2015) Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice across Andean Worlds. [extracts to be confirmed]
• Haraway, Donna (2015) ‘Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin.’ Environmental Humanities.
• Nixon, Rob (2011) ‘Epilogue: Scenes from the Seabed: The Future if Dissent’ in Slow Violence & the Environmentalism of the Poor by Rob Nixon.
• Orff, Kate (2010) 'Reviving New York's River - with Oysters' TED Talk [available on Youtube]

• Alaimo, Stacy (2010) Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self. [extracts to be confirmed]
• Li, Tania (2014) Land’s End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier. [extracts to be confirmed]
• Merchant, Carolyn (1980) The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution. [extracts to be confirmed]
• Webb, Zach (2017) ‘An Uneven Disaster: Q & A with Ashley Dawson.’ The Baffler.
Leistungsnachweis / Testatanforderung80 % attendance
Active participation
Preparing short presentation / response to text or artwork
Termine22. 5. / 23. 5. /24. 5. / 25. 5., jeweils 10.00 bis 17.00 Uhr
Bewertungsformbestanden / nicht bestanden
Termine (4)