With curator Jasmin Stephens and art writer and theorist Ann Finnegan

The Cross Art Projects, 19 October 2013.


Novel Ecologies, curated by Jasmin Stephens, explores the complicating relationship of fiction and truth in our natural world. The term 'novel ecology' refers to ecological systems that have only recently come into being and that consist of previously unseen combinations of species and interactions. At a time when 'climate sceptics face-off against green advocates and anomalies are perceived as new realities' (Gina Fairley), is it so hard to believe there is a thriving community of Little Penguins in Sydney Harbour or that tigers may roam Singapore? The work of Perth artists Perdita Phillips and Tori Benz is shown alongside input from Singaporean Robert Zhao Renhui /The Institute of Critical Zoologists and Melbourne artist George Egerton-Warburton.

View exhibition: http://www.crossart.com.au/index.php/novel-ecologies.html

A novel ecology (also termed emerging ecosystem) is a recent ecological system comprising previously unseen combinations of species and interactions that arise through human action, environmental change, and the impacts of the deliberate and inadvertent introduction of species from other regions. Consideration needs to be given to their management. The concept itself is controversial. The links from the environmental sciences are kindly provided by Dr Perdita Phillips.



Novel Ecologies curator Jasmin Stephens and art writer and theorist Ann Finnegan
On the ecological turn in contemporary art



Drawing - 'Everyone' talking on the ecological turn in contemporary art

Installation view: Perdita Phillips.--. / .- / .- (penguin anticipatory archive), 2013. Drawings and digital prints (work in progress), 31.5 x 31.5 cm and doing so that (tie a knot in it, the world is a handkerchief, a pile of promises), 2013. 250 handkerchiefs 28 x 28 cm  [Individual handkerchiefs exchanged for ‘covenant’ with Little Penguins of Sydney Harbour.]


Hobbs, R. J., Higgs, E., & Harris, J. A. (2009). Novel ecosystems: implications for conservation and restoration. Trends in ecology and evolution, 24(11), 599–605. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.05.012

Seastedt, T. R., Hobbs, R. J., & Suding, K. N. (2008). Management of novel ecosystems: are novel approaches required? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 6(10), 547–553.doi: 10.1890/070046

Hobbs, R. J., Arico, S., Aronson, J., Baron, J. S., Bridgewater, P., Cramer, V. A., Zobel, M. (2006 ). Novel ecosystems: theoretical and management aspects of the new ecological world order. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 15(1), 1–7. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-822X.2006.00212.x Download from academia - http://www.academia.edu/2255154/Concerns_about_Novel_Ecosystems_with_Standish_Higgs_and_Murphy_

Marris, E. (2011). Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World. unknown: Bloomsbury.

A paradigm shift is roiling the environmental world. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state. But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature. Humans have changed the landscapes they inhabit since prehistory, and climate change means even the remotest places now bear the fingerprints of humanity. Emma Marris argues convincingly that it is time to look forward and create the 'rambunctious garden, a hybrid of wild nature and human management'.