Restoration ecology as *the* artform of the 21st century

As the final speaker in the panel discussion “Re-Imagining Globalism: Maine in the World’s Economy” at Bates College on Jan. 25, 2008, Peter Riggs, Executive Director of the Forum on Democracy and Trade, concluded his talk on climate change and international relations with a call for a new kind of creativity:

“Probably the most exciting part of looking ahead to what is a climate-constrained world, is the opportunity of new art forms to emerge. If cinema was the artform of the twentieth century, I submit to you that the artform of the twenty-first century is going to be–and it’s performance art by the way–restoration ecology.”

The talk was featured in Maine Public Radio’s “Speaking in Maine” series; mp3 and podcast available.

For reference, here’s a longer transcription of Riggs concluding remarks.

“Finally, since we are in a liberal arts school, I think probably the most exciting part of looking ahead to what is a climate-constrained world, is the opportunity of new art forms to emerge. If cinema was the art form of the twentieth century, I submit to you that the art form of the twenty-first century is going to be–and it’s performance art by the way–restoration ecology. Because we’re going to get really good at understanding how to rebuild ecosystems on their timescale and their timeframes, and that interrogative process of what ecosystems need to flourish, particularly in a time of atmospheric change, will teach us a lot. And I personally look forward to more engagement on the art and science of restoration ecology, because I really think that’s the future.”

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  1. Flood damage’s avatar

    Restoration Ecology fosters the exchange of ideas among the many disciplines involved in the process of ecological restoration.

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