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Victoria Browne: Thuja
Victoria Browne: Thuja

Art and Craft Lectures: T. J. Demos: Climate Emergency, Racial Capitalism, and the Crafting of New Worlds

In this lecture, T.J Demos traces how decolonial and abolitionist artistic models variously assert opposition to racial and colonial capitalism in Climate Emergency, Racial Capitalism, and the Crafting of New Worldsarticulating emancipatory visions of radical futures and crafting new worlds going beyond mainstream environmentalisms.

Zoom (Meeting ID: 676 3514 4643 Passcode: 815924)

This presentation considers a range of aesthetic practices operating within the current global context defined by the claims of climate emergency. Distinguishing between liberal climate propagandas and ecosocialist alternatives, it traces how decolonial and abolitionist artistic models—including the filmmaking of Thirza Jean Cuthand, Jonas Staal, and The Otolith Group—variously assert opposition to racial and colonial capitalism in articulating emancipatory visions of radical futures and crafting new worlds going well beyond mainstream environmentalisms. Arguing, along with these artistic practitioners, that modern climate emergency began in 1492, with the colonial conquest of the Americas, the presentation locates radical practices within socio-environmental theoretical horizons and Indigenous social movement demands that leave little doubt about the requirements and stakes of current cosmopolitical urgencies.

T. J. Demos is an award-winning writer on contemporary art and global politics. He is Professor in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, at University of California, Santa Cruz, and founding Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. He researches the intersection of visual culture, radical politics, and political ecology, and is the author of numerous books, including Beyond the World’s End: Arts of Living at the Crossing (Duke, 2020); Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and Political Ecology (Sternberg, 2016); and Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today, (Sternberg, 2017). He recently co-edited The Routledge Companion on Contemporary Art, Visual Culture, and Climate Change (2021), was a Getty Research Institute Fellow (Spring 2020), and directed the Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar research project Beyond the End of the World (2019-21). Demos is also Chair and Chief Curator of the Climate Collective, providing public programming related to the 2021 Climate Emergency > Emergence program at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Maat) in Lisbon. He is presently working on a new book on radical futurisms.

Art and Craft Lecture is an interdisciplinary annual lecture series devoted to art and research at the intersection of art practice and art and craft theory. It is hosted by the Department of Art and Craft at Oslo National Academy of the Arts and highlights the breadth and depth of the art practices at the department, providing different perspectives on art and craft and art and public space.

The Art and Craft Lectures take place three times each term and are open to everyone interested. Students and PhD candidates are especially encouraged to attend. The Fall 2021 lecture series is convened by Sara R. Yazdani, in dialogue with colleagues at the Department of Art and Craft.