History of Art


Conversations on Ecological Form: Action

11 May 2022, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

Demonstration of Auto-Destructive Art,

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Edward Christie


  • Edward Christie
  • Danae Filioti
  • Maja & Reuben Fowkes
  • Stephanie Schwartz

This is the final event in a series of three ‘conversations on ecological form’, in which members of the department and the wider UCL community are invited to share short presentations on an object
or image. Each event in the programme has intended to prompt reflections on the challenges that ecological thinking and environmental crisis pose to art historical method. The seminars have been structured by various prompts which have acted as lenses to consider ways in which we might think about form ecologically: how forms change over time or may come unfixed from their historical moment; how forms emerge from complex relationships between different makers and agents; and lastly how forms work in the world, and how we might reimagine the agency of art and art history in this
moment. This third discussion will take 'action' as its prompt and will explore issues such as the following:

  • How does thinking about the material and metaphorical entanglements of art and ecology change our understanding of the social life of objects?
  • How might art and art history galvanise more urgent and effective responses to the climate crisis?
  • Art historians continue to be excluded from mainstream discussions on environmental policy. How could this situation be redressed? Or should art historians prioritise supporting activism and grassroots change?

Through lines of enquiry such as these, we will think about how art might work to re-form ecological relationships—whether within the world of the artwork or beyond it.