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To Life!

Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet

Linda Weintraub (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 384 pages
ISBN: 9780520273627
September 2012
$34.95, £28.00
Other Formats Available:
To Life! Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet documents the burgeoning eco art movement from A to Z, presenting a panorama of artistic responses to environmental concerns, from Ant Farm’s anti-consumer antics in the 1970s to Marina Zurkow’s 2007 animation that anticipates the havoc wreaked upon the planet by global warming. This text is the first international survey of twentieth and twenty-first-century artists who are transforming the global challenges facing humanity and the Earth’s diverse living systems. Their pioneering explorations are situated at today’s cultural, scientific, economic, spiritual, and ethical frontiers. The text guides students of art, design, environmental studies, and interdisciplinary studies to integrate environmental awareness, responsibility, and activism into their professional and personal lives.

Read the teaching guides for To Life at
Online Auxiliaries for Instructors and Students

Art Genres
Art Strategies
Eco Issues
Eco Approaches

Art: Artistic Infrastructure
Eco Art Is
Eco Art Is Not

Eco: Ecolog ical Operatives
Eco Art Themes
Eco Art Aesthetics
Eco Art Materials

Twentieth-Century Eco Art Pioneers
Ant Farm (USA) • Conspicuous Consumption
Herbert Bayer (Austria) • Watershed Management and Beautification
Joseph Beuys (Germany) • Energy Generation as Social Sculpture
Hans Haacke (Germany) • Ecological/Political/Cultural Systems
Helen and Newton Harrison (USA) • Strategies to Sustain Life
Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Austria) • Built Environments as Living Systems
Allan Kaprow (USA) • Performing a River
Frans Krajcberg (Poland) • Integral Naturalism
Mario Merz (Italy) • Template of Life and Dynamism
Carolee Schneemann (USA) • Primal Immersions
Bonnie Ora Sherk (USA) • Urban Oasis
Alan Sonfist (USA) • Preservation of Living Systems
Mierle Laderman Ukeles (USA) • Honoring Maintenance

Twenty-First-Century Eco Art Explorers
Brandon Ballengée (USA) • Species Reclamation
The Beehive Design Collective (USA) • The True Cost of Coal
Mel Chin (USA) • Soil Remediation
Chu Yun (China) • Planned Obsolescence
Critical Art Ensemble (USA) • Contestational Biology
Fernando García-Dory (Spain ) • Neo-Pastoralism
Bright Ugochukwu Eke (Nigeria) • Acid Rain Check
Nicole Fournier (Canada) • Poly Agriculture
Amy Franceschini (USA) • Do-It-Yourself Energy Generation
Gelitin (Austria) • One with Nature
Andy Goldsworthy (UK) • Anthropocentric/Ecocentric Beauty
Andy Gracie (UK) • Bioelectronics
Tue Greenfort (Denmark) • Salvation through Conservation
Terike Haapoja (Finland) • Cross-Species Affinity
HeHe (UK and Germany) • Air Pollutants
Natalie Jeremijenko (Australia) • Citizen Ecologists
Yun-Fei Ji (China) • Failings of an Engineering Triumph
Eduardo Kac (Brazil) • Painting with Life
Jae Rhim Lee (South Korea) • Cultivating the Human Body
Maya Lin (USA) • The Sixth Extinction
Michael Mandiberg (USA) • Tactical Media Campaign
Viet Ngo (Vietnam) • Corporate-Scale Eco Art
Marjetica Potrc (Slovenia ) • DIY Renewal for Slums and Condos
Red Earth (UK) • Deep Time
Pedro Reyes (Mexico ) • Pistols into Spades
Tomás Saraceno (Argentina) • Sun/Wind/Flower Power
Simon Starling (UK) • Energy Foibles and Follies
Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger (Switzerland) • Twin Perils — Excess and Scarcity
Tavares Strachan (Bahamas) • Prepping for Global Warming
SUPERFLEX (Denmark) • Toolbox for Social Justice
Reverend Billy Talen (USA) • Stop Shopping Gospel
Tissue Culture & Art Project (Finland and UK) • Victimless Leather and Meat
Lily Yeh (China) • Holistic Healing and Renewal
Marina Zurkow (USA) • Turf Wars and Global Warming

The Future
Addendum: Personal Survey — What Do I Believe?
Suggestions for Further Research
Linda Weintraub is author of Art on the Edge and Over: Searching for Art’s Meaning in Contemporary Society; In the Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Art and Avant-Guardians: Textlets in Art and Ecology. The first book deciphered vanguard art for popular audiences; the second examined the unique challenges of contemporary art-making; the third introduced the material, thematic, and conceptual innovations being introduced by eco artists.
To Life! offers a great deal. . . . This volume will be an indispensable addition to fine art libraries, museum collections, and libraries focusing on environmental science and conservation. . . . Highly recommended.”—J. Decker, Georgetown College Choice
“I believe this book will become an essential reference work for all those working as, or thinking of becoming, eco artists."—Rob Harle Leonardo
“Weintraub visually and descriptively untangles the complexity of eco-art practices. . . . This book is not only ideal for students but should also be essential reading for educators and curators alike. To Life! shines a long overdue light on the work of eco-artists and it will surely inspire students and all those who read it.”—Penny Skerrett Green World
"The book is a work of artist profiling and art theory, woven with clear and thoughtful insight. It belongs on the bookshelf of every intelligentsia."—Allison Schulz The California Journal of Women Writers
"To life! is thus offered to inspire more attempts to find ways out of our problems."—Martin Spray Ecologist
"Linda Weintraub creates the first thorough and illuminating study for rethinking the environmental impact of art practices, and the meaning of aesthetics, in relation to larger ecosystems. Through a carefully curated selection of international artists, she lays the foundation for a deeper analysis of the complexity and diversity of eco practices, linking these to other movements, past and present. The critical language is accessible and invaluable for understanding and analyzing the historical and conceptual underpinnings of ecologically based art works. All those interested in shaping the uncertain future will find To Life! a must-read."—Patricia Olynyk, Artist, Director, Graduate School of Art, Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis.

"To Life! is an informative guide that illuminates and elucidates environmental problems and ecological relationships. This remarkable multidisciplinary effort cuts the jargon of both the art and science worlds to bring the inspiration and insights of EcoArt to environmentalists, conservationists, and the general public."—Daniel Simberloff, Nancy Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Tennessee
<p>Brandon Ballengee: <em>Species Reclamation Via Non-Linear Genetic Timeline: An Attempted Hymenochirus curtipes </em></p> <p>The Beehive Collective: <em>The True Cost of Coal</em></p> <p>Mel Chin: <em>Fundred Dollar Bill Project</em></p> <p>Chu Yun: <em>Constellation</em></p> <p>Critical Art Ensemble: <em>Molecular Invasion</em></p> <p>Fernando Garcia-Dory: <em>The Shepherd’s School</em></p> <p>Nicole Fournier: <em>Sidewalk Live Dining</em></p> <p>Amy Franceschini: <em>DIY Algae Hydrogen Bioreactor Kit</em></p> <p>Gelitin: <em>Hase</em></p> <p>Andy Goldsworthy:<em> Snowballs in Summer/Glasgow/Dogwood</em></p> <p>Andy Gracie: <em>fish, plant, rack</em></p> <p>Tue Greenfort: <em>PET - Flasche</em></p> <p>Terike Haapoja: <em>Community</em></p> <p>HeHe: <em>Nuage Vert</em></p> <p>Natalie Jeremijenko: <em>NoPARKS</em></p> <p>Yun-Fei Ji: <em>Migrants of the Three Gorges Dam</em></p> <p>Eduardo Kac: <em>Apsides Biotope</em></p> <p>Michael Mandiberg: <em>Oil Standard</em></p> <p>Viet Ngo: <em>Lemna Corporation Wastewater Processing</em></p> <p>Marjetica Potrč: <em>Duncan Village Core Unit</em></p> <p>Red Earth: <em>Enclosure</em></p> <p>Pedro Reyes: <em>Palas por Pistolas (Pistols to Spades)</em></p> <p>Tomás Saraceno: <em>Girasol (Turning Sun)</em></p> <p>Simon Starling: <em>Autoxylopyrocyclobores</em></p> <p>Gerda Steiner/ Jörg Lenzlinger: <em>The Office</em></p> <p>Tavares Strachan: <em>The Distance Between What We Have and What We Want</em></p> <p>SUPERFLEX: <em>Supergas</em></p> <p>Reverend Billy Talen: <em>Church of Stop Shopping</em></p> <p>Tissue Culture & Art Project: <em>Victimless Leather</em></p> <p>Lily Yeh: <em>The Rwanda Healing Project</em></p> <p>Marina Zurkow: <em>Poster Children</em></p>

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