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Environmental AestheticsCrossing Divides and Breaking Ground$
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Martin Drenthen and Jozef Keulartz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254491

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254491.001.0001

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Can Only Art Save Us Now?

Can Only Art Save Us Now?

(p.118) Chapter 8 Can Only Art Save Us Now?
Environmental Aesthetics

David Wood

Fordham University Press

David Wood discusses the well-known problem that until now little has been done to address global environmental change, especially climate change, that threatens life as we know it. We humans are shortsighted, unwilling to act in our long-term interest. Reason alone will not inspire us to act in the interest of future generations; we also need the power of imagination to overcome our indifference and indolence. If our inability to act responsibly is indeed a failure of the imagination, art might be an eminent resource to steer us in the right direction. Hence Wood’s question: Can only art save us now? Can art bridge the imagination gap, to make our potentially catastrophic future vividly plausible, and to open up space for alternative, less “toxic”, forms of living and dwelling? To answer this question, Wood turns to Heidegger, and especially to his essay “The Origin of the Work of Art”. Following in the footsteps of Heidegger, Wood considers art as event of disclosure or uncovering that might open onto modes of dwelling that are less destructive than the current ones.

Keywords:   Art, Global Environmental Change, Imagination, Martin Heidegger

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