CAA 2019

The 107th Annual Conference of the College Art Association will be held at the New York Hilton Midtown, 13–16 February 2019. HBA will be represented by several events including this session on climate change, chaired by Jongwoo Jeremy Kim (abstracts are available as a Word document here).

Climate Change and British Art (HBA)
Friday, 15 February, 8:30am, Room: Gramercy East

Chair: Jongwoo Jeremy Kim (Associate Professor of Critical Studies / Art History and Theory, School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University)

They say Britons obsess over the weather. Alexander Cozens, John Constable, and J. M. W. Turner certainly ruined any prospect of ever dislodging British visual legacy from meteorology. Yet, this centuries-old visual history of grappling with humankind’s relationship with nature seems unprecedentedly urgent at a time when climate change denial has become a tremendous political force affecting national and local elections. In response to the current global environmental crisis, Britain’s 2005 Turner Prize winner Simon Starling rode an electric bicycle through the Spanish desert. His vehicle burned no fossil fuels and produced no smoke. Instead, the contraption collected water. With the water sourced from this punishing human labor, Starling made a watercolor of a cactus like a Regency botanist. Similarly, the Liberate Tate group’s protest performances against the oil giant BP’s corporate sponsorship of art institutions remind us that our historical consciousness must reflect recent developments in art-based environmental activism. Spurred by artists like Starling and works like License to Spill, 2010 (“a miniature oil spill at the Tate’s summer gala”), the Historians of British Art invites papers that examine the relationship between climate change, sustainability, the Anthropocene, and British art on a global scale. Papers that draw on critical debates about art and the politics of ecology, representations of ecological vulnerability and resilience, and contemporary visuality responding to climate change and the global economy are particularly welcome. ‘British Art’ is broadly defined to include works by artists who actively engage in decolonization in the former British colonies.

Nicholas Robbins (Doctoral Candidate, History of Art, Yale University), Luke Howard and the Normal Landscape
• Alison Syme (Associate Professor of Modern Art History, Department of Visual Studies, University of Toronto), Abnatural Climates of the Kelmscott Chaucer
• Kate Flint (Provost Professor of Art History and English, University of Southern California), Lichen, Climate Change, and Ecological Aesthetics
• Ian Bourland (Assistant Professor of Art History, Department of Art and Art History, Georgetown University), After the Flood: John Akomfrah’s Images of the Anthropocene

Discussants:
• Kimberly Rhodes, Professor of Art History, Department of Art History, Drew University
• Nadja Verena Marcin, Artist (MFA, Columbia University, 2010)