Ecologies, Environments, And Energy Systems In Art Of The 1960s And 1970s by James NisbetEcologies, Environments, And Energy Systems In Art Of The 1960s And 1970s by James Nisbet

Ecologies, Environments, And Energy Systems In Art Of The 1960s And 1970s

byJames Nisbet

Hardcover | February 14, 2014

Pricing and Purchase Info

$40.21 online 
$44.50 list price save 9%
Earn 201 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


A fundamentally new view of environmental art that traces a cultural shift toward the unruly complexities of global ecologies.

As the American environmental movement emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, ecological perspectives also emerged in art. But ecological artworks were not limited to conventional understandings of environmental art as something that had to be located outdoors or made of organic materials. Created in a range of media, they reflected a widespread reconceptualization of the material world and a sense of the interconnectedness of all things. In this book, James Nisbet investigates the many levels of intersection between ecology and art in the 1960s and 1970s, examining a series of works that served as sensory interfaces to ecological concepts and reflected the shifting notions of ecology during the period.

Nisbet first examines practices of land art that sought to revise the relationship of art to the biological world. He explores the all-but-forgotten genre of Environments, founded by Allan Kaprow, which produced both closed environments bounded by the gallery's walls and psychedelic multimedia environments; and he examines the transition between minimalism and land art, considering the "planetary visions" that cast singular objects within holistic ecosystems -- a sensibility that infused such canonical earthworks as Michael Heizer's Double Negative and Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty. Nisbet then turns to work informed by the language of energy and the ecological notion that all matter is in process, including Robert Barry's radio wave installations and Simone Forti's performances. Finally, he considers Walter De Maria's The Lightning Field, finding in it a reflection of the conflicts within ecological thinking of the 1970s. Offering a radically new view of environmental art, Nisbet traces a cultural turn from an art that addresses artificially confined environments and simplified allegories of the planet to one that increasingly takes on the "unruly complexities" of global ecologies.

James Nisbet is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Irvine.
Title:Ecologies, Environments, And Energy Systems In Art Of The 1960s And 1970sFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 7 × 0.62 inPublished:February 14, 2014Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262026708

ISBN - 13:9780262026703

Look for similar items by category:


Editorial Reviews

James Nisbet narrates the history of American art of the sixties and seventies from an ecological perspective. He suggests that the discussion of art and ecology exceeds the question of art and sustainability, defining 'ecology' not as a closed environment but as an open system of exchanges. He argues that an ecological imaginary theorized by Rachel Carson, Gregory Bateson, and many others was concurrently manifest in a number of aesthetic tendencies -- Kaprow's environments, the process sculpture of Morris and Serra, Haacke's and Barry's conceptualism, the performative activities of Nauman and Oppenheim, and the earthworks of Heizer, Smithson, and De Maria -- in which distinctions between object, gallery and site, process and information, and the body and artwork become porous and blur. His well-researched account sheds new light on these and other practices, and the intellectual and cultural milieu in which they emerged.