Eco Art: Art, Architecture, and the Natural Environment
Tuesday | Thursday: 12:30 - 2:00pm
Nuclear disasters. Acid rain. The mass extinction of animal and plant species. The environmental crisis that the planet faces today has fundamentally transformed the way we perceive human interaction with the natural environment. What can art, architecture, sustainable design, urban planning, cinema, and performance practices offer to current debates on climate change and environmental justice? Bringing together the arts and the sciences, the course will examine the role of visual and urban cultures in shaping economic, political, engineering, agricultural, and scientific experiments centered on the earth’s ecosystem in the past and in the present. We will analyze key ecological concepts such as energy flow, waste, technology, conservation, and environmental politics as it relates to global visual and urban cultures. Case studies will range from North American indigenous arts to Asian gardens, from colonial medicine to eco-activism in the Global South, from Renaissance experiments in botany to biotech, from urban planning in the ancient world to contemporary green infrastructure. Fieldtrips will include sustainability projects on campus and in the Bay Area. No prior coursework in either art history or environmental science is required.
The course meets the L&S breadth requirement in Arts & Literature, and Historical Studies.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (E), and Chronological period (I) or (II) or (III), based on the topic of the final research paper or project.