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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Undergraduate Course: Environmental Art (ARCH10042)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe movement of environmental art offers a particular lineage of artistic practice concerned with revealing qualities of the living world. This course provides insight into the process-oriented and time based practices of environmental artists, offering students an experimental space to consider comparative modes of practice, to develop understanding of how creative media is used to interpret and reveal natural phenomena. The course allows students to draw inspiration from insights in current practice, to inform their own lines of practical experimentation.
Course description Environmental art is art that addresses social and ecological issues relating to our environment. With its origins in land art and social sculpture, environmental art represents a critical shift in the definition of art; to abandon the fixation on object-centred experience towards experimental approaches that explore and reveal human inter-relationships with nature. The course provides insight into how environmental artists deploy methods of media based instrumentation to experimentally simulate and reveal the transient and ephemeral qualities of a range of natural phenomena, including precedents that cover a telescopic range of scales, from the cosmic, climatic, seismic, atmospheric, biomorphic, to the microscopic.

By examining the tools and media deployed by artists the course provides a basis for students already involved in areas of environmental practice to consider comparative modes of process-oriented and time-based spatial practice. Lectures and seminars will provide an intellectual framework to consider how advances in technology and aesthetic theory have informed how the environment is experienced and imagined, of how artists have addressed cultural questions at a time of significant environmental concern.

From this theoretical foundation students can evolve their own process of creative exploration, with emphasis on process and practice, as much as product and outcome, to test a range of media, objects or tools in response to a particular environmental context or issue. Emphasis will be placed on creative forms of experimentation, of invention and improvisation, provocation and speculation, offering students creative space to develop deeper appreciation of ideas and practical methods that conceptually align with qualities of the living world.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the expanded disciplinary field with regard to concerns raised by environmental art.
  2. Demonstrate invention in the use of creative media as a process of exploratory interpretation of particular environmental phenomenon.
  3. Demonstrate creative thinking in articulating an intellectual and practical response to the subject.
Reading List
Berleant, A. (2013) What is Aesthetic Engagement? Contemporary Aesthetics Vol 11
Hepburn, R. (1966) Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty, In: British analytical philosophy (Eds) Williams, B. and Monteiore, A. London: Routledge pp285-310
Kastner, J. & Wallis, B. (1998) Land and Environmental Art: Themes and Movements, Phaidon Press
Mclean, R. (2015) Art as Environmental Inquiry: Collaborative and Technologically Driven Approaches, ECLAS Annual Conference 2015, Tartu, Estonia
Weintraub, L. (2012) To Life!: Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet, University of California Press

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Ability to respond to a particular environmental context through comparative appraisal of art based practice
2. Ability to communicate the aims and outcomes of a creative process with regard to the contextual significance of the work
3. Ability to compose and document an experimental process set alongside self-driven evaluation

Course organiserMr Ross McLean
Tel: (0131 6)51 5796
Course secretaryMrs Anne Davis
Tel: (0131 6)50 6912
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