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The Study of the Concept of ‘Sustainability’ in Eco Aesthecs - on the basis of the concept of ‘Sustainability’ in Sacha Kagan

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2013, 37(), pp.91-124
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : February 28, 2013

Yu HyunJu 1

1상명대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this essay is to study the concept of sustainability as elaborated in Art and Sustainability(2011) by Sacha Kagan, German philosopher of eco-aesthetics. For Kagan, sustainability in general is defined as ‘the trinity of biodiversity, cultural diversity, and the wellbeing of mankind’ which should be realized in the view of co-evolution. The system theory which Kagan rests on is indeed a crucial argument for understanding the concept of sustainability as a concept. It is closely connected with deep ecology which is based on quantum physics and entropy as a new scientific paradigm. In the view of deep ecology, all the living things on this planet are interconnected with a vast bio-system, complex system, net of huge system, earth, apart from their own independently run systems and self-organizing capacity. Kagan, in terms of system theory, criticizes an overwhelming search of Zweckrationalität in human-centric technological society and designs the practical concept for art as an environment which makes diverse communities on the planet sustainable. That is Kagan’s concept of ‘autoecopoïesis’ as an adaptive process proven on the basis of a new scientific paradigm, system theory. Autopoïesis, the concept of mechanical self-production of all the life-forms as demonstrated by biologists, H. R. Maturana and F. Varella is received as a precondition of communication by Niklas Luhmann, system sociologist. Kagan notices in Luhmann's theory of human consciousness as the self-organizing system communicates with outside itself is, for Kagan a model of consciousness in which is possible a new level of consciousness not reducible to the chemical, an emergence(Emergenz). According to Kagan, ‘autoecopoïesis’ is an effect of environmental correlation of the subconscious mind and inputs from outside imperfectly filtered through consciousness. Kagan therefore correlates ‘autoecopoïesis’ to aesthetic experience through which art creatively interrupts the process of thought. In the same context, ‘Chaosmose’, the concept of mind ecology in Felix Guattari, can be understood as the way of creatively self-organizing through the interpenetration(osmose) of chaos and cosmos for the purpose of recovering existential singularity(singularité), escaping from the logic of identification in the present capitalism society. For Kagan and Gauttari, their ecological practice is regarded as possible in art or cultural activity, as indicated by key examples in recent eco-art shows. Recently some eco arts have shown some tendencies that count for the transdisciplinary cooperation and the correlation of humans and environment in the process of making art and represent the perception of ‘connecting pattern’ and ‘connecting self’ in the holistic perspective of system. We could see that the art project such as ecovention, which is regarded as the future art practice, takes actual intervention in the environment, revealing ecological issues different from land art or environmental art in the 1960’s and 1970’s. This eco art can be said to try to resist being categorized as the art form of narcissism and the self-centric and in turn overcome narrowing limits of institutional art that remains distant from our lives. Ultimately we can discern that the authentic meaning of sustainability in ecological aesthetics comes from the cultural mind with which we as life-forms interwoven in complex system on this planet are inseparably linked. In consequence, we must try, in especial, to sustain the biodiversity and diverse culture in the co-evolving world through art and cultual movement.

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