Week 7 Lecture: Ecology

Agarwal and Kak’s show different ways of art because they have made several films that engage in environmental issues. The films they have produced cover ecological and political crisis in India. There was a film made about the big dams in india and how they have so many negative effects on the Narmada Valley. Another film was on the suspension of a bridge in the Siang Valley. They talk about aesthetics in a certain film was considered the people’s movement, the tribals, students, etc. The detailed conditions during the Kashmir film and capturing all the emotions I think was a way aesthetics was used during this film. I do and don’t think art only deals with aesthetics but then at the same time I feel as if it does. I looked up the definition of what aesthetics means and it said philosophy, theories, good taste, beauty, attractive, and many more words that describes what I think art is. When I think of art I picture sculptures, beautiful paintings, philosophy, poems and make-up and all of these things are aesthetics. However, showing all of the environmental crisis such as the mining, capital led-growth, politicians, police violence… to name a few, are great examples of horrible conditions. When you think of these things you don’t think it’s beautiful to be fighting, having violence, and fighting for your lives. In my opinion, this is the complete opposite of art. On the other hand, Mark Dion uses art to represent the environment in many ways. He grew up along the coast so this drew him to be very attached to the ocean. One thing that stood out to me was that he turned a company into a office to preserve weird and wonderful creatures because he said why is it that some animals are worthier than others? He takes pictures of many different types of animals and makes them do something, puts them in a certain pose, or has them with great detail in the background which tells the story of what the portrait is really about. I guess I never really think about the environment and if I were to see a photo taken by Dion I probably would never imagined it would be about the environment. I guess I would just think it would be about the certain animal he has for show or all the other photos he puts together to create his great picture. However, reading about the films and about how important the environment is to many people made me realize that I should try and do more for the environment.


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