The three-part series for Artyčok.TV entitled The Art of Anthropocene follows contemporary discussions that are devoted to the changing conditions of artistic production in times of climatic disruption. The videos are based on interviews with theoreticians, philosophers, cultural workers, artists and activists who have long been involved in environmental and climate issues, whether in connection with their artistic or institutional practice. It’s obvious that the issue of the environment and ecology in art is increasingly becoming a consciously political decision that affects what art we create, how we teach it, how we talk about it, or how we present it. Artwork is intertwined with cultural activity, which is linked to activism and vice versa. The context, material used and financial resources are increasingly accentuated.
During 2019, we visited Prague, Brno, Bratislava and Berlin and held 22 interviews with experts who have a major influence on shaping the local art scene. We deliberately addressed those persons who are active in the field of current visual art, therefore there are no references to environmental art before 2000, but also interviews with scientists from various related fields and politicians. The script was created gradually and was more a result of gradual discovery and mapping than a predetermined declarative plan. Successively we come from general theoretical concepts to the functioning of art and cultural institutions, and finally to the actual artistic practice. This gave rise to a common narrative, which could be characterized in three questions: What forms can cooperation between science and art take? How is our attitude towards art and the art scene changing with the approaching climate catastrophe? And what can we do?
The visual component of the video consists of walks in environments where the relationship between man and nature is markedly formed and/or the images are associated with the constructed idea of nature. While the camera slowly guides the viewer through a common arc of recorded statements, the characters appear to be posing to the camera’s eye in front of the natural scenery. This creates an image reflecting the formation of our ideas and archetypes (for example, through various strictly organized chateau gardens, or educational amusement parks), which allows you to pay close attention to the topics presented in the videos during pauses between the interviews. It is also possible to listen to parts of the series only as podcasts, to return to utterances that were not comprehensible, or to see them as a crossroad to names, people, concepts and ideas that require much deeper and more time-consuming research.
David Přílučík and Anna Remešová