Aesthetic strategies for engaging with environmental governance

Nold, Christian and Sobecka, Karolina (2021). Aesthetic strategies for engaging with environmental governance. In: Rogers, Hannah Star; Halpern, Megan K.; Hannah, Dehlia and de Ridder-Vignone, Kathryn eds. Routledge Handbook of Art, Science, and Technology Studies. London: Routledge, pp. 91–101.



The sciences and commercial entities are increasingly engaging with artists to harness aesthetics, creativity, and interdisciplinarity. The effect of these collaborations has mostly been to promote public engagement with science and commercial innovation. Yet, it is unclear how such arrangements work, what impact aesthetic approaches have, and whether they are appropriate ways for artists to engage with other disciplines. This text analyses two case studies of aesthetic strategies of ‘mirroring’ and ‘friction synthesis’ as deployed within institutional environmental governance processes. This text argues that aesthetic strategies can highlight blind spots in environmental governance and do this without creating an oppositional critique. Instead, aesthetic strategies can engage with existing governance processes and build alternative worlds within them.

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