Aesthetic regard for nature in environmental and land art

Ethics, Place and Environment 10 (3):287 – 300 (2007)
Abstract
Recent work in environmental ethics has seen a pragmatic turn that emphasises the importance of developing positive relationships with nature through practices involved in, for example, ecological restoration and community gardens. This article explores whether environmental and land art-making encourages positive aesthetic-moral relationships between nature and humans. It critically examines a particular type of aesthetic objection to these kinds of artworks and defends the work of Robert Smithson and Andy Goldsworthy, among others, against this charge. It is argued that rather than constituting an 'aesthetic affront' to nature, some forms of environmental and land art show 'aesthetic regard' for nature.
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