Today Dark Mountain has uploadedthe sixth and final instalment of our series about learning to listen to the myriad other voices beyond the human. Inspired by In Other Tongues, a three-day creative summit held this summer in Dartington, UK, we invited six contributors – artists, writers, academics, poets, performers – to explore the ways in which language and culture are influenced by the non-human, and more-than-human, voices that permeate and shape our world. The series concludes with art.earth director Richard Povall on bad eco-art, the problems with oversimplification, and the imperatives that led to the creation of In Other Tongues.
I have sat back without comment as the onslaught of ‘eco-art’ has burgeoned, all of it well-intentioned but much of it ill-informed and based on poor (or non-existent) science. So much of this work has no nuance, no greys, and very little by way of cogent argument. In an era where ‘truth’ is often placed in inverted commas, because as a society we seem to have lost any sense of what the word means, factoids and opinions based on little more than gut responses or intuition abound as absolute truth.