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Vanessa Saraceno

Published date
27 Jun 2018

Sustainability: A new sensitivity in contemporary art

College: Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon
Supervisor: David Cross


This practice-based research examines the need, and work being done, to expand the definition of sustainability beyond its scientific and economic paradigm to a complex of cultural, political and philosophical controversies surrounding the status of life today. Specifically, the research examines how curating contemporary art in public spaces may contribute to this aim.

Context and background

Combining art and social theory with curatorial practice, my investigation will move from the shift towards process-based practices of conceptual artists in the 1960’s, to the experiments of land and environmental artists; from the eco-social interventions in the public sphere, to the emergence of recent artistic practices that contribute to a different vision of ecology and sustainability.

Using curation as a catalyst for challenging our comprehension of sustainability, the practice will address the public space as the place where antagonism takes place. Staging moments of patient observation in the accelerated route of the metropolitan everyday, the practice will be developed through a series of curated, public interventions in contested, transitory places of London, in order to stimulate a tactile understanding on what sustainability means in everyday life

Inspiring new possibilities for co-existence and sustainability, the practice will sustain itself by using materials sourced from the selected environments, and will be nurtured by the constantly changing relationships it stimulates with the surroundings, resulting in experiences that are simultaneously collective and personal, playful and poetic, pleasurable and responsive.