Accumulation: The Art, Architecture, and Media of Climate Change
Nick Axel, Nikolaus Hirsch, Daniel Barber, Anton Vidokle (Eds.)
e-flux architecture, 2022
The current epoch is one of accumulation: not only of capital but also of raw, often unruly material, from plastic in the ocean and carbon in the atmosphere to people, buildings, and cities. Alongside this material growth, image-making practices embedded within the fields of art and architecture have proven to be fertile, mobile, and capacious. Images of accumulation help open up the climate to cultural inquiry and political mobilization and have formed a cultural infrastructure focused on the relationships between humans, other species, and their environments.
The essays in Accumulation address this cultural infrastructure and the methodological challenges of its analysis. They offer a response to the relative invisibility of the climate now seen as material manifestations of social behavior. Contributors outline opportunities and ambitions of visual scholarship as a means to encounter the challenges emergent in the current moment: how can climate become visible, culturally and politically? Knowledge of climatic instability can change collective behavior and offer other trajectories, counteraccumulations that draw the present into a different, more livable, future.