art and ecology -- kunstforum interview

Dan Peterman – On art and ecology
Interview by Oliver Zybok (English version)
Kunstforum International, issue 199, 2009, p.178

O. Z.: In our globalized world an increasingly large role is being played by larger, interdisciplinary associations of great complexity. People are having to learn to cope with things they don’t understand if they are not to capitulate in the face of the incredible complexity. How can art react to this current awareness problem on the part of the general public?

D. P.: Artists have the possibility of continually adapting the ways in which they pose questions and engage situations. So they have a lot, potentially, to offer in the face of the these problems of complexity.  There certainly is no single correct way to build awareness of current ecological crisis or even a single way of defining what, precisely, the problems are. But art can be a dynamic form of inquiry that launches diverse, multifaceted, interdisciplinary models. The important thing, as ecological issues sweep into ever more compelling view, is that we bring many different tools to bear on our situation. Not just tools that tell us how we should fix things, but tools that help deepen the telling of the story, or that guide us to look in directions we have been neglecting.