Relations Between Eco-Aesthetics and Biopolitics
Published: 10 June 2015 by MDPI AG in 8th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU) session True Smart & Green Urban Society
Abstract: This paper examines diverse links between concepts, objectives and mechanisms of biopolitics and eco-aesthetics researching their historical developments, the context in which they appear, and the status they have in modern society. The study is guided by several questions and hypotheses: whether the ecology and eco-aesthetics are in stark contrast to the biopolitics and its goals, or both, and eco-aesthetics and biopolitics, each in its own way control life; is perhaps today's popularization of ecology and eco-aesthetics a new instrument of politics of fear, demonstration of necessity of biopolitical power, or a market tool; where in this relationship is art; is art only the naive accomplice in this demonstration of power; or, is art an agent in the biopolitics, because it wants to become biopower and achieve a sort of Gesamtkunstwerk - creates life as a work of art? In doing so, the avant-garde artist-revolutionary as to forgets that revolutions eat their children. Relations between eco-aesthetics and biopolitics present itself as a sort of maze where biopolitics of global capitalism is abusing environmental problems and uses eco-aesthetics for its goals. Politicization of the avant-garde eco art, design and architecture (including waste aesthetics) seems to turn into aestheticization and elitism, thus showing capitalism as a prerequisite of eco-aesthetics. On the other hand, market creates a quasi eco-aesthetics as political correctness that retains the comfortable shape of consumer society and undermines the goal of eco-aesthetics. Eco-aesthetical society would have no place for art as we know it, since opposes its material nature.
Keywords: biopolitics, eco-aesthetics, neoliberalism, eco art, environment, gesamtkunstwer