Performing Nature

Environmental Philosophy 4 (1/2):15-28 (2007)
Abstract
Natural environments differ from artworks in two ways: (a) they are surroundings filled with objects, processes, and the observer, (b) they are natural, not intentionally created to be appreciated. I show that this serious problem for accounts of aesthetic appreciation of nature has led many thinkers in environmental aesthetics (e.g., Carlson and Rolston) to claim that appreciators should be actively engaged with a natural environment. But how? One suggestion has been that appreciators play the role of creative performers in the arts. I explore this analogy, distinguishing three different kinds of performance. I argue that none is a good fit as a model of nature appreciation but that the analogy sheds considerable light on environmental art, especially the site-specific artworks of Andy Goldsworthy
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Malcom Budd (2000). The Aesthetics of Nature. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (2):137–157.
Malcolm Budd (1996). The Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature. British Journal of Aesthetics 36 (3):207-222.
Nicolas de Warren (2007). Off the Beaten Path. Environmental Philosophy 4 (1/2):29-48.
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