Art and Sustainability

Connecting Patterns for a Culture of Complexity

What is the cultural dimension of sustainability? This book offers a thought-provoking answer, with a theoretical synthesis on »cultures of sustainability«. Describing how modernity degenerated into a culture of unsustainability, to which the arts are contributing, Sacha Kagan engages us in a fundamental rethinking of our ways of knowing and seeing the world. We must learn not to be afraid of complexity, and to re-awaken a sensibility to patterns that connect. With an overview of ecological art over the past 40 years, and a discussion of art and social change, the book assesses the potential role of art in a much needed transformation process.

€39.80 * $55.00 *

30 June 2011, 514 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8376-1803-7

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Sacha Kagan

Sacha Kagan, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Deutschland

... with Sacha Kagan

1. Books the world doesn't need. Why is this not the case for your publication? The book strives to understand what is meant by ›culture(s) of sustainability‹ and explores the specific role of art in this context. Why bother ask such questions? These questions matter to us and to future generations, because the search process of sustainability will fail if it neglects its own cultural dimension.

2. Which novel points of view does your publication offer?

The book not only gives an overview of a whole range of artistic experiences, in the search for (a) culture(s) of sustainability, but it also develops a theoretical basis for artistic and cultural strategies of transformation. The book especially brings forward the idea that we should develop our sensibilities to complexity. That would foster our capabilities of resilience to the coming global crises.

3. What is the significance of the subject in current debates?

Serious discourses on culture, art and sustainability have only started to emerge in the past few years, across a number of academic disciplines. They are often lacking a theoretical grounding. Furthermore, the insights of Edgar Morin on complexity and transdisciplinarity have not reached the English and German-speaking worlds yet. My book aims to change that situation.

4. With whom would you most like to discuss your publication?

For my own personal development, I'd love to discuss it with Edgar Morin (the French philosopher and sociologist whose ideas inspired me very much for this book). In the public interest, I'd most need to discuss this book with people in key positions in the fields of the arts, education and policy, but also with so-called ›multiplicators‹ across all areas of society.

5. Your publication in one sentence:

If we wish to live well, together, we need to foster our subversive imaginations, with the help of challenging art and aesthetics of complexity.

Reviewed in:

International Journal of Cultural Policy, 1-3 (2012), George Kaye
The Goose, 11 (2012), Anne Milne
Laboratorium, 5/2 (2013)
Sacha Kagan
Book title
Art and Sustainability Connecting Patterns for a Culture of Complexity
transcript Verlag
kart., Klebebindung, 41 SW-Abbildungen
Commodity Group
ART015000 SOC015000
Release date
30 June 2011
2nd emended edition 2013
Kunst, Natur
Culture Sciences, Sustainability Studies, Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Art, Philosophy, Art Studies, Cultural Ecology
Art, Culture, Sustainability, Ecology, Complexity, Arts, Nature, Art History, Human Ecology, Fine Arts

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