Art, Theory and Practice in the Anthropocene


Art, Theory and Practice in the Anthropocene contributes to the growing literature on artistic responses to global climate change and its consequences. Designed to include multiple perspectives, it contains essays by thirteen art historians, art critics, curators, artists and educators, and offers different frameworks for talking about visual representation and the current environmental crisis. The anthology models a range of methodological approaches drawn from different disciplines, and contributes to an understanding of how artists and those writing about art construct narratives around the environment. The book is illustrated with examples of art by nearly thirty different contemporary artists.


Justin's work discussed in:

Introduction by Julie Reiss
Chapter 1: The Anthropocene sublime: Justin Guariglia’s artwork by Eva Horn


Excerpt from Julie Reiss's Introduction:  "The artist’s arm extends out, straight enough to clearly reveal the thin unbroken line of black ink that rises from wrist to shoulder, trending upwards (cover image). At first glance the gesture calls to mind The Creation of Adam (c. 1508- 1512), Michelangelo’s fresco in the Sistine Chapel, showing the hand of God passing the spark of life to the hand of Adam, a monument to man’s direct lineage with the divine. Justin Brice Guariglia takes up the position of God, now held by man, and instead of passing life, the line on his arm is a tattoo of a graph charting the average temperature of the earth’s surface over the last 136 years. This increase in temperature and the resulting consequences, including rising sea levels, flooding, ocean acidification, and species extinction, are what we will pass on, and what indelibly marks us, as we cannot separate the rise in temperature from industrial activity. Guariglia’s tattoo, a visceral connection between art, culture and global climate change, dates from the moment in 2016 when geologists at the 35th International Geological Congress in Cape Town, South Africa officially adopted the term Anthropocene to describe the current epoch, in which humans have been recognized as a geological force that is permanently changing the environment. There has been a lack of consensus among scientists regarding the date of its inception, and some scientists are still uncertain whether it will ultimately represent a geological rupture from the Holocene. However, as Australian scientist Jeremy Baskin states, 'the Anthropocene does not need to be an object of scientific inquiry by geologists and stratigraphers, or even a formally-recognized geological epoch, in order to have an impact.' The term is in use in spheres outside the sciences, and there is an array of attitudes associated with it that can be recognized in current cultural production, particularly visual art."