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Art Action and Environment Fall 2018 with Karin Cope

Thinking about activism and the environment? Want to explore art-making out-of-doors? Solar-empower your practice!

Air/String Sun/Water (solar-powered radio performance) 2015
Curated by Lindsay Dobbin, Bay of Fundy, NS

CULT 3601 Art Action and Environment Fall 2018

Prof. Karin Cope

Meets: Mondays 1300h-1600h Classroom: G219, Fountain Campus, Halifax.  Contact: or

Course Description: Centered on the notion of arts-based “fieldwork,” this research/creation course is designed as a critical engagement with contemporary environmentally-focused social practice, land-based, and activist art on the one hand, and the rapidly expanding fields of ecological criticism, feminist materialism and environmental justice, on the other. What is the history of the notion of “ecology”? What about the “Anthropocene,” the “more-than-human” sphere, or “geologic time”? When we speak of the arts and culture as “sustainable” undertakings are we right? (Sustainable for whom? When? Where?) How might we measure our carbon footprint(s), or think through our relations to water? What is “plant-thinking”? Why should thinking about race, class, gender and poverty be at the center of contemporary reflections on the environment?

In addition to regular readings, short practice-based research and writing assignments, and conversations with contemporary artists and curators, students will develop strategies for visualizing, activating and transforming key critical environmental ideas and themes; all students will have the opportunity to develop and carry out final individual or collaborative projects in the media or mode of their choice. Open to any interested students from all majors and practices.

Format: Seminar/discussion, workshop/studio


Karin Cope also teaches:

CULT 3016 Poetry as Social Practice Fall 2018

Tuesday evenings 6-9; class begins in the Art Bar and ends in S410
Poetry As Social Practice approaches poetry as a forceful, critical and often activist or political form of making; it is explicitly designed as an arts-based approach to poetry and poetic practice.
Visitors, workshops and other work (including readings, recordings, performances performance documents, etc.) mobilized by the course will reclaim poetry as a contemporary resource for and sibling art to sculpture, architecture and other dimensional practices, including craft (notably weaving and textiles) and performance, as well as time-based work such as music, film and sound art. In particular, given the formative, even sculptural, role of poetry in many 20th and 21st century radical social and nation-building movements, course readings, documents, examples and invited guests will emphasize the contributions of artist-poets to anti-racist, geographical, feminist, queer and decolonial struggles.