Contemporary Environmental Arts Panel With Joshua Schuster, Evelyn Reilly, Judith Goldman, Anna Scime
Sponsored and organized by the Poetics Program at University at Buffalo, and with funds from the Art Services Initiative of Western New York
Joshua Schuster will discuss reading and teaching works of ecopoetics, drawing from his book The Ecology of Modernism (2015) and recent essays in which he continues to refine our definition of ecopoetics as a set of discourses exploring environment as a trope and environment in our tropes. He will present in more detail his thought on “heliopoetics,” the poetics of the sun and the transition to solar power.
Evelyn Reilly will read from her book Styrofoam (2009), discussing its origins and relation to questions about how we use language and our current ecological circumstances. She will also share examples of her ongoing experiments with incorporating elements of dystopian sci-fi and apocalyptic writing into poetry, and invite conversation about the role of art in creating an environmentally aware culture and environmental justice.
Judith Goldman will discuss her poetics of inhabiting scientific language and languages of expertise, to use their resources in aesthetic ways that create new means of connecting with the external world as described and inscribed, and that foreground and sometimes challenge these languages’ frameworks of knowledge. She will read from Open Waters, the artist book volume in the exhibit and present related poems from her works of ecopoetics.
Anna Scime will screen short excerpts from various pieces that focus on WNY’s land and waterscapes and the issues that we face in the Anthropocene: accelerated climate change, the rate of biodiversity loss/species extinctions, freshwater use, pollution, and land and water systems and changes. The Anthropocene—its place in the geologic timescale and its ecological impacts—conjure questions about the meaning of life and death, memory and archives, the scope and methods of humanistic inquiry, the hierarchy of the species, and emotional responses to the end of nature as we know it. An inverted archetypal Island, the Great Lakes provide an ideal microcosm for exploring global water issues and human interactions with the natural world.