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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 22, Issue 1, Fall 2017

Idioms of Ethical Life

David Wood
Pages 135-157
DOI: 10.5840/epoche201772693

Earth Art
Space, Place, Word, and Time

This presentation is something of a performative response to the thrust and promise of Dennis Schmidt’s work in Between Word and Image, especially his reference to art as an ethopoetic event. My own art practice has led me to ask when art happens, about the event of art. Rilke was right: “you must change your life.” This means a break with the dominance of representation, calculation and Machenschaft. The idea that this means a renewal of dwelling, and that art can help, is for Denny the ethical promise of art. We here take up questions he sets aside—that of Nature and that of the possibility/efficacy of art today (Hegel/Adorno). I claim that earth art has distinctive ways of recalibrating our understanding of and engagement with space and time, which feed into what we mean by dwelling, our bearing in the world. This transforms how we think of questions of control with respect to Nature.