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James Nisbet Guest Lecture


31 May, 2018, 3 p.m.
Visual Arts Facility 366, UC San Diego
252 Russell Ln., La Jolla


"On Photoenergy and Environmental Art"

James Nisbet's research addresses modern and contemporary art, theory, and criticism, with particular interests in environmental history, modern science, abstraction, conceptualism, and the history of photography.

His first book, which is titled Ecologies, Environments, and Energy Systems in Art of the 1960s and 1970s, was published by MIT Press in 2014. It examines the breadth of ecological thought across artistic and social practices during these formative decades for environmentalism. As framed by Allan Kaprow’s invention of the gallery Environment in the late 1950s and concluding with Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field of the late 1970s, the book addresses ecological art practices realized in a range of media, both organic and technological. While the rise of late modern environmentalism is still much romanticized and poorly assessed, my work responds to this condition by evaluating the various senses of ecology to arise during these years in light of their important insights and, in many cases, naïve oversights, regarding ecological politics of the late twentieth century.

This lecture, entitled "On Photoenergy and Environmental Art," will discuss his book in relation to recent essays on the topics of land, light, and environmentalism.

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