Artists and the Practice of Agriculture : Politics and Aesthetics of Food Sovereignty in Art since 1960 book cover
1st Edition

Artists and the Practice of Agriculture
Politics and Aesthetics of Food Sovereignty in Art since 1960

  • Available for pre-order on June 16, 2023. Item will ship after July 7, 2023
ISBN 9780367200794
July 7, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
288 Pages 33 Color Illustrations

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

Artists and the Practice of Agriculture maps out examples of artistic practices that engage with the aesthetics and politics of gathering food, growing edible and medicinal plants, and interacting with non-human collaborators. In the hands of contemporary artists, farming and foraging become forms of visual and material language that convey personal and political meanings.

This book provides a critical analysis of artistic practices that model alternative food systems. It presents rich academic insights as well as 16 conversations with practicing artists. The volume addresses pressing issues, such as the interconnectedness of human and other-than-human beings, the weight of industrial agriculture, the legacy of colonialism, and the promise of place-based and embodied pedagogies. Through participatory projects, the artists discussed here reflect on the links between past histories, present challenges, and future solutions for the food sovereignty of local and networked communities.

The book is an easy-to-navigate resource for readers interested in food studies, visual and material cultures, contemporary art, ecocriticism, and the environmental humanities.

Table of Contents

Framing the field. An Introduction.

The matter of Artists and the Practice of Agriculture.

The Visual and Material Language of Agriculture as Art. The Example of Hunger by Ghada Amer.

Contributions, Scope, and Disciplinary Perspective of This Book.

Chapters’ Overview, Author Positionality, and Writing Process.


Section 1:

Chapter 1: Experiences of Human and Other-Than-Human Interconnection through Agriculture in Contemporary Art.

Preparing the Terrain: Historical Contexts and Theoretical Lens

Becoming Plant: Giuseppe Penone.

Energy Flows and Non-Hierarchical Interactions. Bonnie Ora Sherk.

The Healing and Spiritual Power of Agriculture: Joseph Beuys.

Agricultural Knowledges and Economies: Global Tools and Gianfranco Baruchello.

Fluidity against Binaries: Fritz Haeg

Beyond Utopia: Adaptation and Community for Kamin Lertchaiprasert and Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Artist as Family

Place-Based Knowledges and Interconnectedness in Contemporary Indigenous Art: Jolene Rickard and Elizabeth James Perry

Conversation with Bonnie Ora Sherk

Conversation with Fritz Haeg

Conversation with Artist as Family (Meg Ulman and Patrick Jones)

Conversation with Jolene Rickard

Section 2:

Chapter 2: Confronting Technology in the Field. Reimagining Agriculture for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Remediation.

Dialectics, Tautology, and Paradox: Agnes Denes.

DIY Technology and the Power of Agribusiness: Critical Art Ensemble.

Biopolitics, Biopiracy, and Sexuality: Ines Doujak.

The Agency of Plants: Li Shan, Natalie Doonan, and Maria Thereza Alves.

Climate Change Adaptation, Historical Technologies, and Gardens: The Harrisons and Nida Sinnokrot.

Conversation with Maria Thereza Alves

Conversation with Natalie Doonan

Conversation with Nida Sinnokrot

Section 3:

Chapter 3: Colonial Legacies in Agriculture and Art: Labor, Memory, and Healing.

Extraction, Exploitation, and Colonial Trades.

Honoring Diversity through Plants and Food in Australia: Lauren Berkowitz.

Colonial Histories and Today’s African Diasporas: Binta Diaw.

Connecting Cuba, China, West Africa and North America: Edible and Medicinal Plants in María Magdalena Campos-Pons’s Practice.

Food Security and Artistic Cross-Pollination at Yinka Shonibare’s Ecology Green Farm in Nigeria.

Abolition, Imagination, and Community Gardening in the USA: jackie sumell and Seitu Jones

The Politics of Urban Agriculture in Hong Kong.

Conversation with Lauren Berkowitz

Conversation with María Magdalena Campos-Pons

Conversation with jackie sumell

Conversation with Seitu Jones

Section 4:

Chapter 4: Embodied Pedagogies and Knowledges Exchange through Art Farming. Health, Nutrition, and Sense of Place.

Awareness and Social Equity through Food-based Pedagogy: A Theoretical Framework.

Hydroponic Systems and Community Care in Response to the AIDS Crisis: Haha.

Cycles of Learning: Sensorial and Spiritual Resilience in Tattfoo Tan’s Experience.

Floating Ecosystems: Mary Mattingly.

Civic Fruit and Public Art: Participation for Fallen Fruit and Lisa Gross.

Being with Bees: William Juan Chávez’s Creative Pedagogy Against Racist Histories.

Queer Ecologies and Cross-Species Interaction: Eli Brown.

Making with Fungi: Urbonas Studio and Mycelium.

Ever-Changing Traditions: Unlearning and Experimenting for the "Scuola delle Agricolture."

Conversation with Haha (Richard House, Wendy Jacob, Laurie Palmer, John Ploof)

Conversation with Tattfoo Tan

Conversation with Lisa Gross.

Conversation with Juan William Chávez.

Conversation with Eli Brown

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Silvia Bottinelli (PhD University of Pisa) is Senior Lecturer in the Visual and Material Studies Department, School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Dr. Bottinelli's scholarship focuses on contemporary food-based art as well as 20th and 21st century Italian art. With Margherita d’Ayala Valva, she co-edited the volume The Taste of Art (2017) and a special issue of Public Art Dialogue on "Food and Activism in Contemporary Art "(2018). Dr. Bottinelli also co-edited Lead in Modern and Contemporary Art with Sharon Hecker (2021), and single-authored the book Double-Edged Comforts: Domestic Life in Modern Italian Art and Visual Culture (2021). Dr. Bottinelli’s research has been widely published in edited volumes and scholarly journals such as Art Journal, Modernism/modernity, Public Art Dialogues, Food Studies, Palinsesti, Predella, and Ricerche di Storia dell’Arte. Her scholarship was supported by grants of the Italian Art Society, the Center for Italian Modern Art, the American Philosophical Society, and the Tufts Tisch College Faculty Fellowship, among others. Dr. Bottinelli received an International Award for Excellence from the Food Studies Research Network.