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Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

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Talk – Creative Ecologies and the Aesthetics of Climate Justice

September 12, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

Colorful crayonsThe talk will be held virtually via Zoom and in-person at 107 Norman Smith Hall, UMaine.

Speaker: T.J. Demos, Professor and Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowed Chair in Art History and Visual Culture, Director, Center for Creative Ecologies, UC Santa Cruz

The Center for Creative Ecologies (CCE) provides a place to consider the intersection of culture and environment. The aim is to develop useful interdisciplinary research tools to examine how cultural practitioners—filmmakers, new media strategists, photojournalists, architects, writers, activists, and interdisciplinary theorists—critically address and creatively negotiate environmental concerns in the local, regional, and global field.

Creative ecologies expand terms like “environment” and “climate” to generative excess, avoiding disciplinary silos and technocratic solutions. They connect ecology-as-relationality—between an organism and its environment—to ecology-as-intersectionality—as a matrix of power, oppression, and liberation operating through such social forces as gender, race, and class. Creative ecologies envision multispecies, social, and climate justice as its horizon. As a methodology formative to the Center for Creative Ecologies, which I founded in 2015 at UC Santa Cruz, creative ecologies (of interdisciplinary research, university-community partnerships, and multigenerational engagements) join with intersectionalist aesthetics and politics, advancing an art of climate justice. This presentation will discuss select projects of the CCE, along with specific art practices, which foreground art’s relation to environmental and climate justice in the age of climate emergency.

T. J. Demos‘ research focuses on the intersections of contemporary art, radical politics, and ecology—particularly where art, activism, and visual culture oppose racial, colonial, and extractive capitalism, and where they work towards social, economic, and environmental justice. He is the author of numerous books, including: Beyond the World’s End: Arts of Living at the Crossing (Duke University Press, 2020), Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and Political Ecology (Sternberg Press, 2016), and Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today, (Sternberg Press, 2017). In Spring 2020, he was a Getty Research Institute Fellow working on a new book project on radical futurisms, and directed the Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar research project Beyond the End of the World during 2019-21. Prof. Demos has also curated a number of exhibitions and film screening series, including Beyond the World’s End at Santa Cruz’ Museum of Art and History (2020-21); Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas, at Nottingham Contemporary (2015); Specters: A Ciné-Politics of Haunting, at Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum (2014); and Beyond the World’s End at the Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz (2019).



September 12, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


107 Norman Smith Hall
Mitchell Center - UMaine
Orono, ME 04469 United States
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Mitchell Center
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