The symposium (images here) considered today’s uses and abuses of the ‘eco-’, notions of artistic agency and critical practice, as well as the role of the public realm in today’s artistic and institutional practices. How has it become fashionable (or profitable) to be seen to be eco? How has what we mean by ecology been transformed and evolved through the uses of terms such as ‘environmental’, ‘green’, ‘ethical living’, and so on?; How do some artists desire palliative results, while others offer strategies of friction or resistance? How far are the sources of materials a consideration for artists, designers and architects? And how does this relate to broader questions of resources—water, energy, oil in the Emirate and beyond?
The symposium included focused presentations by keynote speakers such as Bruce Sterling (read his paper here), critical panels by biennial artists Sergio Vega or Peter Fend as well as by Van Abbemuseum director and Sharjah Biennial juror Charles Esche, or Smart Museum's Curator of Contemporary ArtStephanie Smith, as well as breakout seminars with biennial artists Tomás SaracenoandMichael Rakowitz.
You can download the symposium programme, the exhibition guide and view press-related materials in this archive.
Cover and Back Cover, 'Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change (Part II)'. Photos: Sharjah Biennial.