Lucy Soutter | 27 Jan

The Anthropocene: On the Edge of Perception

The Anthropocene emerged as a term in the physical sciences in the 1980s to describe the current geological era characterized by the impact of humans. Geological time, which had once been measured by the very slow movement of tectonic plates and ice ages, has accelerated to reflect humankind’s recent, rapid alterations to the planet via fossil fuels, nuclear materials and overpopulation. Recently the term has been been making inroads into the social sciences and humanities, to the extent that it has even been called “the new Postmodernism”. This talk explore what kinds of art practices bring the anthropocene into visibility, and what implications this idea may have for our ecology, politics and aesthetics.

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Dr Lucy Soutter is an artist, critic and art historian. A multi-disciplinary background provides the foundation for her teaching and writing. After studying Art and English at Harvard, and Photography at CalArts, she did a PhD in the History of Art at Yale, focusing on the uses of photography by 1960s conceptual artists. Lucy’s work focuses on questions of value and meaning in contemporary art and photography. She has written art criticism for publications including Aperture, Source, Frieze and 1,000 Words. She is the author of Why Art Photography? (Routledge, 2013) She has taught at the London College of Commmunication and the Royal College of Art, and recently took up a new position as the Course Leader of the MA Photography Arts at the University of Westminster.