This chapter identifies a cultural turn towards political ecology, in the sense that Bruno Latour defines it, primarily due to the contentiousness within pre-established categories of art (or artifice) and nature (as a site of labour and perseverance). Following ‘the ecological thought’ of Timothy Morton via Arthur Schopenhauer’s problematic claim that art provides an escape route from reality to a space-time of pure ‘knowledge’, the chapter addresses selected agricultural art projects by John Gerrard, Gianfranco Baruchello, Atelier Van Lieshout, Futurefarmers and Fernando García-Dory. Considering Morton’s observation that the essentialism we sometimes afford to an artwork is exactly what might help to deconstruct our delusions surrounding the nature/culture dichotomy, I argue this ‘non-knowledge’ is grounded in ‘ecomaterialism’, ‘postmedievalism’, and ‘uncivilization’ in order to think a reconfiguration of the limits of the everyday, the urban, and the rural for the Anthropocene.
Rurality Re-imagined: Villagers, Farmers, Wanderers, Wild Things, ed. Ben Stringer (San Francisco: Applied Research and Design Publishing, 2018).