Mediating
the Ecological
Imperative

SNSF Sinergia 2021 – 2024
© Peter Krieger, *Bilderfahrzeug,* Mexiko-Stadt, 2018.
© Peter Krieger, *Footprints,* Mexiko-Stadt, 2020.
© Peter Krieger, *Ästhetik der Luftverschmutzung,* Mexiko-Stadt 2016.
Mixteca Alta Geopark, Oaxaca, Mexico, View from Yucu ñuun lookout, Photo by visual journalist Alex McDougall, 2021 © Alex McDougall (photo), Courtesy of the artist.
Regina José Galindo, Still from *Tierra*, Ecofeminist performance at Les Moulins France by Regina José Galindo 2013. Video (HD, one-channel, 16:9, color, sound), 34 min., Courtesy of the artist and Prometeo Gallery Ida Pisani Milan-Lucca © Regina José Galindo.
Will Wilson, *AIR (Auto-Immune Response),* <br />© Will Wilson
Will Wilson, *AIR (Auto-Immune Response),* <br />© Will Wilson
Mishka Henner, *Kern River Oil Field,* Kern County, California (2013).
Sky Hopinka, *Jáaji Approx.,* 07:39, HD video, stereo, color, 2015.
Sky Hopinka, *Fainting Spells,* 10:45, HD video, stereo, color, 2018.
*Sun & Sea (Marina),* Opera-Performance von Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte an der Biennale Venedig 2019. <br />© Andrej Vasilenko (Foto), Courtesy of the Artists.
Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder, *The Sense of Smell (The Five Senses series),* 1617-1618, Oil on panel, Museo del Prado, Madrid.
Gayil Nalls, *World Sensorium,* 1999-2000, World Aromatic Phytogenic Material (100ml at 25 in Amber Borosilicate Bottle), Photo by Bert Brouwenstijn (Displayed in the exhibition *Aromatic Art (Re-)constructed: In Search of Lost Scents* at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2017).
Peter de Cupere, *The Smell of a Stranger,* Exhibited in the 12th Biennial of Havana in 2015, Photo by Frederik Buyckx.
Precious Okoyomon, *Open circle Lived Relation* (Detail), Resistance is an atmosperic condition, 2020, Foto: Diana Pfammater.
Asad Raza, Absorption. *Down to Earth,* 2020 © Berliner Festspiele/Eike Walkenhorst.
Regina José Galindo, Still from *Tierra*, 2013. Video (HD, one-channel, 16:9, color, sound), 34 min, Courtesy the artist and Prometeo Gallery Ida Pisani Milan- Lucca.
George Steinmann, *The World and the Mind* (1988-2016) © George Steinmann.

© Peter Krieger, Bilderfahrzeug, Mexiko-Stadt, 2018.

© Peter Krieger, Footprints, Mexiko-Stadt, 2020.

© Peter Krieger, Ästhetik der Luftverschmutzung, Mexiko-Stadt 2016.

Mixteca Alta Geopark, Oaxaca, Mexico, View from Yucu ñuun lookout, Photo by visual journalist Alex McDougall, 2021 © Alex McDougall (photo), Courtesy of the artist.

Regina José Galindo, Still from Tierra, Ecofeminist performance at Les Moulins France by Regina José Galindo 2013. Video (HD, one-channel, 16:9, color, sound), 34 min., Courtesy of the artist and Prometeo Gallery Ida Pisani Milan-Lucca © Regina José Galindo.

Will Wilson, AIR (Auto-Immune Response),
© Will Wilson

Will Wilson, AIR (Auto-Immune Response),
© Will Wilson

Mishka Henner, Kern River Oil Field, Kern County, California (2013).

Sky Hopinka, Jáaji Approx., 07:39, HD video, stereo, color, 2015.

Sky Hopinka, Fainting Spells, 10:45, HD video, stereo, color, 2018.

Sun & Sea (Marina), Opera-Performance von Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte an der Biennale Venedig 2019.
© Andrej Vasilenko (Foto), Courtesy of the Artists.

Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder, The Sense of Smell (The Five Senses series), 1617-1618, Oil on panel, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

Gayil Nalls, World Sensorium, 1999-2000, World Aromatic Phytogenic Material (100ml at 25 in Amber Borosilicate Bottle), Photo by Bert Brouwenstijn (Displayed in the exhibition Aromatic Art (Re-)constructed: In Search of Lost Scents at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2017).

Peter de Cupere, The Smell of a Stranger, Exhibited in the 12th Biennial of Havana in 2015, Photo by Frederik Buyckx.

Precious Okoyomon, Open circle Lived Relation (Detail), Resistance is an atmosperic condition, 2020, Foto: Diana Pfammater.

Asad Raza, Absorption. Down to Earth, 2020 © Berliner Festspiele/Eike Walkenhorst.

Regina José Galindo, Still from Tierra, 2013. Video (HD, one-channel, 16:9, color, sound), 34 min, Courtesy the artist and Prometeo Gallery Ida Pisani Milan- Lucca.

George Steinmann, The World and the Mind (1988-2016) © George Steinmann.

The SNF project “Mediating the Ecological Imperative: Formats and Modes of Engagement” is a joint research project of the Institutes of Art History, American Studies and Social Anthropology at the University of Bern. In addition, a collaboration with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is being realized. Research focuses on the visual politics of climate change, the role of ecological issues in art and literature, and social engagement with the environment in indigenous cultures. The philosopher Hans Jonas coined the term “ecological imperative” in his book Das Prinzip Verantwortung (The Principle of Responsibility, 1979), in which he formulated an ecological maxim for action based on Immanuel Kant’s “Categorical Imperative”: “Act in such a way that the effects of your actions are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life on earth”. → Read more about the project

Team
Latest News
2022, June 22-24
5th Swiss Congress for Art History, Session: "The Ecological Imperative – Presentness and Speculation in the Arts"

The 5th Swiss Congress for Art History will be held in Zurich from 22 to 24 June 2022. Organized jointly by the Swiss Association of Art Historians (VKKS) and the Institute for Art History of the University of Zurich (Kunsthistorisches Institut der Universität Zürich), the Congress is aimed at art historians, art researchers and experts from all fields (including both practice and theory), and all institutions. Session conveners: Toni Hildebrandt und Peter J. Schneemann, University of Bern.

2021, September 10th, 6 pm, Kornhausforum, Bern
Invited guest lecture with UCLA anthropologist and MacArthur Fellow Jason De León "Understanding the Politics of Migrant Death along the U.S./Mexico Border"

De León's talk will conclude the exhibition Confronting Hostile Terrains (19.08.21-11.09.21) that examines the political causes and existential consequences of lethal border politics and aims to humanize the often-anonymous victims of border regimes and asylum systems. Confronting Hostile Terrains will center the participatory exhibit Hostile Terrain 94 from the Undocumented Migration Project directed by Jason De León. Two more interventions that explore migration and internal bordering complete the exhibition. These include Wasser from artist Sarah Hildebrand and Living in Direct Provision directed by anthropologist Darcy Alexandra.

July 2021
Qiao Hu, doctoral student of the SNSF Sinergia Mediating the Ecological Imperative, has been awarded a scholarship by the China Scholarship Council (CSC)

Qiao Hu has been awarded a scholarship by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) to pursue her PhD research at the University of Bern. Her research project Mapping the Smellscape of Altermodern: Olfactory Art and Multidimensional Art History will explore how olfactory art brings into play the concept of relational aesthetics in order to reflect on the smellscape in altermodern, in which viewers' positions are replaced by participants and relations. Her dissertation project is part of the subproject Formations of the Ethical Imperative: From Postmodernity to Relational Aesthetics and the Contemporary Period, 1960–2019, under the lead of Prof. Dr. Peter J. Schneemann.