Ethics, Ecology, and the Future: Art and Design Face the Anthropocene






  • Art and design have become platforms for discussing the long-term implications of technology and modernity, most recently in relation to ecological crisis and the Anthropocene. While artists, designers and curators seek to raise awareness of the Anthropocene, it is important to remain critical of the narratives these practitioners develop. This paper provides a brief critique of how these issues are being addressed in the cultural sphere, suggesting that works of critical, conceptual and speculative design may be best suited to addressing the Anthropocene as they foster critical thinking about how we relate to technology and science, how we organize ourselves politically and socially, and how we define ourselves in the broader ecological assemblage. Artists and designers discussed include Marina Zurkow, Una Chaudhuri, Oliver Kellhammer, Fritz Ertl and Sarah Rothberg; Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby; and Jae Rhim Lee.


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    3. Timothy Morton, The Ecological Thought (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010) p. 2.

    4. Joanna Zylinska, Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene (Michigan: Open Humanities Press, 2014) pp. 19, 125.

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    32. Joshua E. Keating, “The 10 TED Talks They Should Have Censored,” Foreign Policy, 17 May 2012.

    33. Natalie Jeremijenjko, “Farmacy,” <>.