Propositions: Why we need art in the Anthropocene

In our Capitalism, Colonialism, Climate Change Study Group we are collectively thinking through reasons why art remains important in our time. Here are some of the propositions we’ve come up with so far (December 2017)

-Art remains as a way of making/finding connections between impersonal, abstract, universal issues and personal concerns, connections that can lead to actions for change.

  -Art remains as a way of thinking through complex issues, approaching emotional and intellectual problems through visual and tactile modes.

-Art remains as a way of keeping cultural memory alive, as a particular, emotional way of remembering what is lost, what is endangered, what should be saved.

-Art remains as a way of imagining a new order.

Michele Provost sent me some quotes:

“In my ongoing pondering of the subject of making art in troubled times, I chanced upon two opposing quotes which, to me, seem equally valid:

Bertolt Brecht:

‘What kind of times are these when to talk about trees is almost a crime because it implies silence about so many other horrors?’


Leopold Staff:

‘Even more than bread, we now need poetry in a time where it seems like it doesn’t need it at all.'”