Ecology and the Ethics and Aesthetics of Collaboration: The Case of Nine Mile Run

Lora Senechal Carney


Artists collaborating with the public and/or with professionals from ecological and other fields often confront and may seek to reformulate core values within the social and political contexts of projects such as the stream reclamation carried out at Nine Mile Run in Pittsburgh. In the recent critical debate about collaborative art, new theoretical models have been sought not only to define such projects within global art practice, but also to identify what ethical and aesthetic criteria may maximize their potential. Some of the key critics in this debate have worked with concepts of intersubjectivity from the writings of Guattari, Rancière, and others to get beyond simplistic oppositions between individual subjectivity and collectivity toward a more productive “politics of the subject,” as Okwui Enwezor put it (see below). The curator Stephen Wright offers a particularly powerful framework for theorizing collaborative projects that, like the Nine Mile Run Greenway Project, have no visible “art” as their products.
    This article precedes one written by Tim Collins, an artist who worked at Nine Mile Run. He discusses a larger project that took place in Pittsburgh in the years immediately following, for which he served as director.


Art and ecology; collaborative art; art and Nine Mile Run

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