Decolonizing Nature: T.J. Demos in conversation with Kodwo Eshun and Ros Gray
Book Launch, Showroom Gallery, London, 14 July 2016
To launch his new book Decolonizing Nature, Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology, T.J. Demos appeared in conversation with Kodwo Eshun and Ros Gray to discuss the book and his research into creative proposals of artists and activists for ways of life that bring together ecological sustainability, climate justice and radical democracy. While ecology has received little systematic attention within art history, its visibility and significance has grown in relation to the real and present threats of climate change and environmental destruction. By engaging artists’ widespread aesthetic and political engagement with environmental conditions and processes around the globe—and looking at cutting-edge theoretical, political, and cultural developments in the Global South and North — Decolonizing Nature offers a pathbreaking contribution to the intersecting fields of art history, ecology, visual culture, geography and environmental politics. (Audio recording of event here)
The Cultural Politics of Sustainability at UCSC
UC Santa Cruz, 2016-17
Funded by the UCSC Sustainability Office, this two-quarter-long project (2016-17) comprises a series of UCSC interdisciplinary symposia and workshops dedicated to the topic of sustainability. Organized in relation to the research and practice of the Arts-based Center for Creative Ecology, the series intends to bring to campus speakers representing expertise in diverse areas of sustainability studies, and with them organize discussions with interdisciplinary members of UC faculty and graduate and undergraduate students on the history, meaning, and conflictual elements of sustainability. The project will also focus on critical discussion of UCSC’s Campus Sustainability Plan, including knowledge-sharing and assessment of its meaning, goals, and progress to date.
Subatlantic: A Screening and Presentation by Ursula Biemann
UC Santa Cruz, March 8, 2016, 5:30-7:15pm, DARC 108
Swiss video practitioner Ursula Biemann will screen and discuss her recent speculative SF video essay Subatlantic (2015), addressing, among related works and topics, the interdisciplinary-discursive ecotone of geology and climatology merged with human politics and history, as well as her essayistic storytelling and creative imaging. Set in the Shetland Islands, Greenland’s Disco Bay and on a tiny Caribbean Island, and occurring at the end of the 2,500 year old Holocene epoch, the video’s relational eco-geography captures moments of aquatic flows through invisible ocean streams and melting Arctic icescapes, and reads this interconnected system as both a hyperobject (one of an expanded geo-space-time, as Timothy Morton writes), and a modeling of intensive science and virtual philosophy (as according to Manuel De Landa). This event, co-sponsored by the Institute of the Arts and Sciences, will compliment Biemann’s presentation in the Visual and Media Cultures Colloquium the following afternoon of March 9 at 4pm (Porter College, D245).
In the Shadow of COP21: Climate Justice Art-Activism, A Discussion with T.J. Demos, February 03, 2016
SubRosa Community Space, 703 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, California, 95060
Please join us for consideration and discussion of the creative activism that surrounded COP21, the recent UN Climate Conference in Paris that met in December 2015. Activists and collectives responded to the elitism of the talks with unauthorized coordinated efforts to challenge the corporate-dominated climate negotiations. Participants aimed to bring attention the economic framework of climate governance, specifically neoliberalism, which has offered only failed proposals for how to address the current environmental crisis. Climate Games, organized by the France-based Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, promoted creative civil disobedience as part of a longterm strategy to democratize environmental governance, insist on a just transition to a postcarbon future, and develop alternatives outside the automatic assumptions of capitalist hegemony. What are the lessons of COP21 activism, and where does it leave us today both globally and locally?
COP 21: A Critical Assessment, UC Santa Cruz / The Farm's Gatehouse / Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, January 25, 2016
This informal seminar, led by Summer Gray, UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Santa Cruz, will consider critical reviews of the recent UN Climate Conference in Paris during December 2015. Reference material includes recent essays by John Foran (“The INDCs [non-binding Intended Nationally Determined Contributions] that constitute the core of the Agreement’s stance on the greenhouse gases that are driving global warming faster and faster toward the cliff of extreme danger, give us a world of something over three degrees Celsius – in other worlds, Paris has been a completely unacceptable failure to take the kind of action that climate science is screaming for and the world’s people must have.”), Danny Chivers and Jess Worth “Paris deal: Epic fail on a planetary scale,” and a recent Truthout essay by T.J. Demos on climate justice activism at COP21.
Climate Changes Everything! Speeches from Climate Changes Everything Rally, Santa Cruz, CA, November 22, 2015
"In the face of governments attempting to shut down popular demands for a just transition to a post-carbon future—one of renewable energy, economic equality, and political inclusion of those historically excluded from the political process—we say: we will not tolerate repressive climate governance, in France or in the US, that surrenders decision-making to multinational corporations..."
Global Climate Justice Today, October 13-27, 2015
This series of talks at UC Santa Cruz—featuring Valentin Lopez (Amah Mutsun Tribal Band), Flora Lu (UC Santa Cruz), Néstor L. Silva (Stanford University), Leila Salazar-Lopez (Amazon Watch), Andy Szasz (UC Santa Cruz), T.J. Demos (UC Santa Cruz), and Paulo Tavares (Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London/Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador)—investigates the current meanings of climate justice for communities from California to the Ecuadorian Amazon.