...relationships among humans, which we are accustomed to call ‘social’, are but a subset of ecological relations.
Tim Ingold (2000)
The Perception of the Environment
Over 3 decades I have been immersed in questions of how cultural practices and sensuous, embodied human-environment and interspecies interactions might lead to more ethically sensitive and ecologically just human-world and interspecies relations. With an eye on Biocultural Diversity; acknowledging the inextricable enmeshment of nature and culture, I am best known for my work investigating the role and impact of the arts in transforming "cultures of unsustainability" to cultures of sustainability.
One of the most persistent cultural memes of the late 20th C to the present, the term "sustainability" is, it seems, everywhere. We might best ask ourselves what we mean when we use it. To what are we referring specifically, or in general? What is sustainability? What are we trying to sustain? What is a sustainable future, and for whom is this future sustainable?
The classic dictionary meaning is the persistence of something - a sustained note in music, sustained profit growth in business, sustained consumption, sustained expectations ... you get the idea. Sustainability is, at best, static. Life and living systems are not. These living systems of which all lifeforms, such as humankind, are a part, are messy, dynamic, creative, enmeshed, interdependent, both mysteriously resilient and surprisingly fragile.
For all these reasons and more, I am less concerned with aiming for some impossibly static "sustainability" than I am with finding a path to a radical (from radix, root) flourishing for all life into the future. Because life is dynamic, the path is subject to change, and so rather than simply relying on a fixed map based on past surveys, I believe the creative imagination must be engaged, along with a keen attention, and the willingness to be directed, and adapt.
This small website offers a bit of a view of some of the work in which I have been engaged over some 3 decades, and work in progress, in keeping with these understandings.
Thank you for visiting.