Title: The evolution of environmental ideas in the city: the activist work of three Los Angeles artists

Authors: Hélène Schmutz

Addresses: Université de Savoie Mont-Blanc, Laboratoire LLSETI, 27 rue Marcoz, 73000 Chambéry, France

Abstract: The paper explores the activities of three Los Angeles artists and activists, Lewis MacAdams, Lauren Bon and Jennifer Price, who suggest a shift from the paradigm of a distinction between civilisation and nature in US culture, to a more holistic form. The object that materialises this hybrid state in their work is the Los Angeles River. They aim at bringing it back into the city's self-image as a socionatural object. What are the political implications of the artistic reinvention of nature in the cities? The cultural studies approach allows the use of the methodological and theoretical tools of both ecocriticism and political ecology. MacAdams has focused on reinvention; the works of Bon and Price are focused on memory and access, also raising the question of environmental justice. This paper provides examples that contribute to the growing field of research in the humanities and social sciences on urban nature.

Keywords: Lewis MacAdams; Lauren Bon; Jennifer Price; Los Angeles River; environment; wilderness; nature writing; ecocriticism; political ecology; environmental ideas; environmental activism; Los Angeles artists; USA; United States; city self-image; socionatural objects; cultural studies; environmental justice; urban nature; cities.

DOI: 10.1504/PIE.2016.10003072

Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal, 2016 Vol.10 No.2/3, pp.229 - 247

Received: 15 Feb 2016
Accepted: 02 Nov 2016

Published online: 08 Feb 2017 *

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