Arts and Culture of Nature

with Mark Dion

“Art and the Culture of Nature” aims to foster a better understanding of how artists today can make work engaging the environment in a time of intensifying ecological calamity. The seminar will explore how artists have interrogated the concept of nature from pictorial traditions, through earth art and the contemporary art of environmental engagement.

Guided by the artist Mark Dion, students will share work and ideas with each other around their practice as well as discuss readings and research. How does the current global ecological crisis- extinction, climate change, ocean debris, urban sprawl, etc. inform how artists respond to working on the topic of nature will be the fulcrum of the seminar. Understanding how artists have illuminated environmental issues in the past will help participants frame their own practices.

Dec 5th - 14th

Mon, Tues, Wed
12:30-3 pm EST

20
Students Max

$2,000
USD

Mark Dion was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1961. He received a BFA (1986) and an honorary doctorate (2003) from the University of Hartford, Hartford Art School, and attended the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program.

Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. Appropriating archaeological, field ecology, and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between ‘objective’ (‘rational’) scientific methods and ‘subjective’ (‘irrational’) influences. Dion also frequently collaborates with museums of natural history, aquariums, zoos, and other institutions mandated to produce public knowledge on the topic of nature.

Mark Dion, Library for the Birds of Massachusetts, 2005, Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.
Mark Dion, The Department of Tropical Research: Aquatic and jungle field stations in 2 parts, 2017, Courtesy of the Artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.
Mark Dion, Wayward Wilderness (installation view), Marta Herford, Herford, Germany, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.
Mark Dion, Tropical Collectors, (Bates, Spruce and Wallace), 2009, Various equipment, sand, Courtesy of the artist and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

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