Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Art for Environment, Art for Sustainability: The Art/Science Divide and the Role of Art in Environmental Discourse
Emma Arnold
2nd Author
3rd Author
Masters of Science, Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management (MESPOM)
Number of Pages
Central European University
Thesis Supervisor
Alan Watt
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy
Languages Familiar to Author
English, French
URL where full thesis can be found
art, art/science divide, environment, environmental art, problem-solving, sustainability
Abstract: 200-500 words
The current state of environmental problem-solving can be considered to be at somewhat of an impasse. Current methods of environmental problem-solving rely heavily on scientific and technocratic philosophies. The art/science divide prevalent in Western society is in part responsible for this. More than this, the art/science divide impairs our ability to cope holistically and effectively with environmental problems. Artists are increasingly addressing issues of environment and sustainability, in the materials they use, the methods they employ, the subject matter they address, and the changes they strive to instigate. Art can help us to understand our place in nature, help question our behaviours and attitudes, communicate information, ideas, and even act as propaganda. But more than this, more and more artists are beginning to help in devising and determining solutions to environmental problems, from climate change to over-consumption to issues of waste management. In exploring the literature, past exhibits, conferences, and the myriad work of artists, an increasing trend in environmental art is evident. In looking at our present art/science divide, we can gain insight on why art is not referenced more often in environmental discourse and the possible ramifications of these omissions. Our fragmented worldview may need repairing if we truly wish to make progress in environmental problem-solving and enter into a more responsible path towards sustainability.