T.J. Demos

The Politics and Aesthetics of Climate Emergency

We’re told we’re in a climate emergency—but whose is it? For Extinction Rebellion, reducing atmospheric carbon is a global urgency; for green neoliberals, it’s entrepreneurial, a time of economic opportunity; for Indigenous communities, emergency continues centuries of colonial violence and genocide; for authoritarian nationalists, it’s a migration threat best addressed through military security. How might one’s emergency erase or empower another’s? By considering the becoming-activist of aesthetics in relation to both climate mobilizations and the weaponized atmospheres of militarized border zones (highlighted in the Whitney Museum’s recent “teargas” biennial and corresponding protests), this presentation considers the complexity of emergency politics, as well as how emergency might give way to the emergence of emancipated futures through intersectionalist social movements.

T.J. Demos is a cultural critic and professor of visual culture at University of California, Santa Cruz, and Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. He writes widely about contemporary art, global politics, and ecology, and is the author, most recently, of Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Sternberg Press, 2017) and Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Sternberg Press, 2016).

This event is part of the Rijksakademie Public Programme, and developed in collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, where T.J. Demos will discuss his latest work on Friday 20 September 2019 at 4.30 pm.


Onze agenda met events, presentaties en lezingen.