The Center for Creative Ecologies provides a place to consider the intersection of culture and environment. The aim is to develop useful interdisciplinary research tools to examine how cultural practitioners—filmmakers, new media strategists, photojournalists, architects, writers, activists, and interdisciplinary theorists—critically address and creatively negotiate environmental concerns in the local, regional, and global field. These concerns include anthropogenic climate change and global warming, and relate to factors such as habitat destruction, drought, species extinction, and environmental degradation. Drawing on such wide-ranging fields as visual culture and art history, political ecology and economics, Earth jurisprudence and new materialism philosophy, Indigenous cosmopolitics and climate justice activism, the Center energizes the formation of the emerging environmental arts and humanities.
Embedded in the History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC) department at UC Santa Cruz, and funded in part by UCSC’s Arts Division, the Center supports and strengthens its PhD program in Visual Culture. It addresses a wide arena of visual experience, within and beyond artistic practice, including mass media and governmental publicity, where environmental matters are discussed, represented, and negotiated. The Center aims to be an inclusive space of dialogue welcoming diverse participants to consider the ecological conflicts and creative sustainable alternatives that impact us all, to widen our knowledge society, and to assess and contribute to informed policymaking in the widest sense of the term.