Mediating
the Ecological
Imperative

SNSF Sinergia 2021 – 2024
© Peter Krieger, *Bilderfahrzeug,* Mexiko-Stadt, 2018.
© Peter Krieger, *Footprints,* Mexiko-Stadt, 2020.
© Peter Krieger, *Ästhetik der Luftverschmutzung,* Mexiko-Stadt 2016.
Mixteca Alta Geopark, Oaxaca, Mexico, View from Yucu ñuun lookout, Photo by visual journalist Alex McDougall, 2021 © Alex McDougall (photo), Courtesy of the artist.
Regina José Galindo, Still from *Tierra*, Ecofeminist performance at Les Moulins France by Regina José Galindo 2013. Video (HD, one-channel, 16:9, color, sound), 34 min., Courtesy of the artist and Prometeo Gallery Ida Pisani Milan-Lucca © Regina José Galindo.
Will Wilson, *AIR (Auto-Immune Response),* <br />© Will Wilson
Will Wilson, *AIR (Auto-Immune Response),* <br />© Will Wilson
Mishka Henner, *Kern River Oil Field,* Kern County, California (2013).
Sky Hopinka, *Jáaji Approx.,* 07:39, HD video, stereo, color, 2015.
Sky Hopinka, *Fainting Spells,* 10:45, HD video, stereo, color, 2018.
*Sun & Sea (Marina),* Opera-Performance von Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte an der Biennale Venedig 2019. <br />© Andrej Vasilenko (Foto), Courtesy of the Artists.
Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder, *The Sense of Smell (The Five Senses series),* 1617-1618, Oil on panel, Museo del Prado, Madrid.
Gayil Nalls, *World Sensorium,* 1999-2000, World Aromatic Phytogenic Material (100ml at 25 in Amber Borosilicate Bottle), Photo by Bert Brouwenstijn (Displayed in the exhibition *Aromatic Art (Re-)constructed: In Search of Lost Scents* at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2017).
Peter de Cupere, *The Smell of a Stranger,* Exhibited in the 12th Biennial of Havana in 2015, Photo by Frederik Buyckx.
Precious Okoyomon, *Open circle Lived Relation* (Detail), Resistance is an atmosperic condition, 2020, Foto: Diana Pfammater.
Asad Raza, Absorption. *Down to Earth,* 2020 © Berliner Festspiele/Eike Walkenhorst.
Regina José Galindo, Still from *Tierra*, 2013. Video (HD, one-channel, 16:9, color, sound), 34 min, Courtesy the artist and Prometeo Gallery Ida Pisani Milan- Lucca.
George Steinmann, *The World and the Mind* (1988-2016) © George Steinmann.

© Peter Krieger, Bilderfahrzeug, Mexiko-Stadt, 2018.

© Peter Krieger, Footprints, Mexiko-Stadt, 2020.

© Peter Krieger, Ästhetik der Luftverschmutzung, Mexiko-Stadt 2016.

Mixteca Alta Geopark, Oaxaca, Mexico, View from Yucu ñuun lookout, Photo by visual journalist Alex McDougall, 2021 © Alex McDougall (photo), Courtesy of the artist.

Regina José Galindo, Still from Tierra, Ecofeminist performance at Les Moulins France by Regina José Galindo 2013. Video (HD, one-channel, 16:9, color, sound), 34 min., Courtesy of the artist and Prometeo Gallery Ida Pisani Milan-Lucca © Regina José Galindo.

Will Wilson, AIR (Auto-Immune Response),
© Will Wilson

Will Wilson, AIR (Auto-Immune Response),
© Will Wilson

Mishka Henner, Kern River Oil Field, Kern County, California (2013).

Sky Hopinka, Jáaji Approx., 07:39, HD video, stereo, color, 2015.

Sky Hopinka, Fainting Spells, 10:45, HD video, stereo, color, 2018.

Sun & Sea (Marina), Opera-Performance von Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte an der Biennale Venedig 2019.
© Andrej Vasilenko (Foto), Courtesy of the Artists.

Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder, The Sense of Smell (The Five Senses series), 1617-1618, Oil on panel, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

Gayil Nalls, World Sensorium, 1999-2000, World Aromatic Phytogenic Material (100ml at 25 in Amber Borosilicate Bottle), Photo by Bert Brouwenstijn (Displayed in the exhibition Aromatic Art (Re-)constructed: In Search of Lost Scents at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2017).

Peter de Cupere, The Smell of a Stranger, Exhibited in the 12th Biennial of Havana in 2015, Photo by Frederik Buyckx.

Precious Okoyomon, Open circle Lived Relation (Detail), Resistance is an atmosperic condition, 2020, Foto: Diana Pfammater.

Asad Raza, Absorption. Down to Earth, 2020 © Berliner Festspiele/Eike Walkenhorst.

Regina José Galindo, Still from Tierra, 2013. Video (HD, one-channel, 16:9, color, sound), 34 min, Courtesy the artist and Prometeo Gallery Ida Pisani Milan- Lucca.

George Steinmann, The World and the Mind (1988-2016) © George Steinmann.

The SNF project “Mediating the Ecological Imperative: Formats and Modes of Engagement” is a joint research project of the Institutes of Art History, American Studies and Social Anthropology at the University of Bern. In addition, a collaboration with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is being realized. Research focuses on the visual politics of climate change, the role of ecological issues in art and literature, and social engagement with the environment in indigenous cultures. The philosopher Hans Jonas coined the term “ecological imperative” in his book Das Prinzip Verantwortung (The Principle of Responsibility, 1979), in which he formulated an ecological maxim for action based on Immanuel Kant’s “Categorical Imperative”: “Act in such a way that the effects of your actions are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life on earth”. → Read more about the project

Team
Latest News
2022, June 22-24
5th Swiss Congress for Art History, Session: "The Ecological Imperative – Presentness and Speculation in the Arts"

The 5th Swiss Congress for Art History, organized jointly by the Swiss Association of Art Historians (VKKS) and the Institute for Art History of the University of Zurich, will be held in Zurich from 22 to 24 June 2022. Session conveners: Toni Hildebrandt und Peter J. Schneemann (University of Bern); speakers of the session: Natalia Ganahl (University of Vienna / HSE Moscow), Suzannah Henty (University of Melbourne / EHESS, Paris), Veronika Hirth (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), André Rottmann (Free University Berlin) and Yvonne Volkart (IAeP, Academy of Art and Design, FHNW Basel / ZHdK Zürich).

2021, November 18, at 6 pm
"The ecological crisis seen through a blueberry filter: A conversation with George Steinmann", Stadtgalerie Bern

ARTIST ENCOUNTER #2: What does cultural sustainability mean? How do we collaborate in ways that dehierarchize knowledge and exploit the full potential of transdisciplinary cooperation? And what role does blueberry juice play? Researchers from the Sinergia project meet the artist George Steinmann for a public round table discussion as part of his exhibition „FUTURE NOW“ at the Stadtgalerie in Bern. The event will be recorded and shared on our website, generously supported by the Stanley Johnson Foundation.

2021, November 4–6
Hoffnung / Hope: 2021 Conference of the International Walter Benjamin Society with a panel on Natural History

Conference Hope – Rethinking with Benjamin organized by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin in cooperation with the Akademie der Künste and the Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin. The conference holds a panel on Architecture, Environment and Natural History organized by Maria Teresa Costa (MPIWG) and Toni Hildebrandt (University of Bern) with talks by Benjamin Fellmann (Warburg-Haus, Hamburg), Maria Filomena Molder (Nova University Lisbon), Noa Levin (Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin), Milena Massalongo (University of Mantova), Peter J. Schneemann (University of Bern), Giovanbattista Tusa (Nova University Lisbon), M. Ty (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Gerhard Wolf (KHI, Florence), a discussion between Emanuele Coccia (EHESS Paris) and architect Daniel Libeskind, and a final film screening with Chantal Benjamin, Lais Benjamin Campos, Aura Rosenberg and Frances Scholz, moderated by Maria Teresa Costa and Toni Hildebrandt.