Groundworks Catalogue: Environmental Collaboration in Contemporary Art


ISBN: 0977205312

Features essays by chief curator Grant Kester and new media curator Patrick Deegan, commissioned essays by Maurine Greenwald (University of Pittsburgh), Maria Kaika (Oxford University), Andrew Light (University of Washington) and Malcolm Miles (University of Plymouth, UK).

Includes works by artists & collectives: 3 Rivers 2nd Nature team, Ala Plastica, Navjot Altaf, Christine Brill & Jon Kline, Jackie Brookner, Stephanie Flom, and Ann Rosenthal, Helen Mayer Harrison & Newton Harrison, Walter Hood & Alma Du Solier, Huit Facettes-Interaction Abdoulaye Ndoye, Ichi Ikeda, Constance & Tom Merriman, A. Laurie Palmer, Park Fiction, Platform, Susan Steinman & Suzanne Lacy and Yutaka Kobayashi, WochenKlausur, new media artists: Lillian Ball, Agricola De Cologne, Amy Franceschini/Free Soil, Ben Fry and Casey Reas, Fernando Garcia-Dory, Christina McPhee, Christina Ulke, Marc Herbst, Aviva Rahmani



The Regina Gouger Miller Gallery published and distributed a 180 page (approx.), full-color catalogue to accompany the exhibition. It included an introduction to the exhibition and five essays written specifically for Groundworks. The catalogue also included a biography and project description for each artist or collective.

The catalogue features essays by chief curator Grant Kester and new media curator Patrick Deegan, commissioned essays by:

Maurine Greenwald

an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh. Greenwald’s essay explores the relationship between Groundworks projects produced in the Monongohela River Valley and the social and environmental history of Pittsburgh.

She specializes in modern U.S. social history with a particular emphasis on gender and race in labor history. She is the co-editor of Pittsburgh Surveyed: Social Science and Social Reform in the Early Twentieth Century(University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996) and the author of Women, War and Work: The Impact of World War I on Women Workers in the United States (Cornell University Press, 1990). Her essay “Women and Class in Pittsburgh, 1850-1920” was published in City at the Point: Essays on the Social History of Pittsburgh, edited by Samuel P. Hays (University of Pittsburgh Press (1989). Her current research uses advertising since 1950 to examine gender relations in small and large corporations; feminist activism inside and outside the industry; marketing to female consumers; and the rise of woman-owned agencies. This study involves extensive oral interviews. Her newest teaching ventures include a course on interpreting photographs as historical documents and another on the recent history of gender relations in Japan, Argentina, and the United States.

Maria Kaika

is Lecturer in Urban Geography, at the University of Oxford, School of Geography, and a Fellow of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. She focuses on the ways in which Groundworks projects address the political ecology of water supply.

Her research interests lie with political ecology and with the theoretical investigation of the relationship between nature, society and culture. She has done research on urbanism and nature; representations of nature and the city in the modernist movement (particularly in Italian futurism); governance and environmental policy; the political ecology of water supply in western cities; European water policy; theoretical approaches on sustainability; the ecology of cities. She has worked on several research projects on water supply in European metropolitan areas, and has done independent research on London and Athens. She is the author of City of Flows: Modernity, Nature and the City (Routledge, 2004) and her recent essays include “Interrogating the Geographies of the Familiar: Domesticating Nature and Constructing the Autonomy of the Modern Home” in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28:2 (2004) and “Constructing Scarcity and Sensationalising Water Politics: 170 Days that Shook Athens” in Antipode, 35:5, (2003).

Grant H. Kester

is an art historian and critic whose research focuses on socially-engaged art practice, the visual culture of American reform movements, and aesthetic theory. His book, Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art (University of California Press, 2004) outlines a critical framework for recent art practices based on performative interactions with participants outside of normative art contexts. Kester’s forthcoming book, The One and the Many, will examine contemporary collaborative and collective art projects. Kester’s essays have been published in The Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945 (Blackwell, 2005), Theory in Contemporary Art Since 1985 (Blackwell 2004), Poverty and Social Welfare in America: An Encyclopedia (ABC-Clio, 2004), Politics and Poetics: Radical Aesthetics for the Classroom (St. Martins Press, 1999), the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (Oxford University Press, 1998), and Ethics, Information and Technology: Readings (McFarland, 1997) among other collections, as well as journals including Afterimage, Art Journal, Art Papers, Exposure, FOCAS (Singapore), Mix (Canada), the Nation, New Art Examiner, Public Art Review, Social Text, Third Text, and Variant (Scotland).

Andrew Light

is Assistant Professor of Environmental Philosophy, Director of the Environmental Conservation Education Program and Co-Director of the Applied Philosophy Group at New York University. Light’s essay focuses on the implications of environmental philosophy for art and cultural activism.

His primary areas of interest are environmental ethics and policy, philosophy of technology, and political and social philosophy. Light is the author of over sixty articles and book chapters on these topics, and is editor or co-editor of fourteen books, including, Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice (MIT, 2003),Environmental Ethics: An Anthology (Blackwell, 2003), Beneath the Surface: Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Deep Ecology (MIT, 2000), Technology and the Good Life? (Chicago, 2000), Social Ecology After Bookchin (Guilford, 1998) and Environmental Pragmatism (Routledge, 1996).

Malcolm Miles

is a Reader in Cultural Theory, School of Art & Design, University of Plymouth, UK. His essay, “A Green Aesthetic: After Kant the Deluge (Private),” will provide a series of observations on a “green” model of aesthetic experience. Drawing on an investigation of aesthetic philosophy and art theory, Miles will ask how a “green” aesthetic would derive, or depart, from the aesthetics of modernity.

He is author of Art, Space & the City (Routledge 1997) and The Uses of Decoration: Essays in the Architectural Everyday (Wiley 2000), and co-editor of The City Cultures Reader (Routledge, 2000). Recent publications include Urban Futures, a co-edited collection of essays on the cities of tomorrow (Routledge, 2003) and Urban Avant-Gardes, an authored book on art, architecture and environmentalism, (Routledge, 2004). He is currently working on Cities & Cultures (Routledge, 2006), a critical introduction to urbanism and culture for undergraduates; and on Building Hope (Routledge, 2007), following research on alternative settlements, intentional communities and everyday utopianism. He is Series Editor for Advances in Art & Urban Futures (Intellect Books), and a contributor to academic journals in the fields of art, urban design and cultural studies. Previous teaching posts have been at the University of Portsmouth and Oxford Brookes University. He is a member of the Board of the Landscape Research Group (UK), and of the Council of Management of Spacex Gallery, Exeter. Current research interests are in environmentalism and critical theories of culture.

Also includes works by artists & collectives:

  • 3 Rivers 2nd Nature team
  • Ala Plastica
  • Navjot Altaf
  • Christine Brill & Jon Kline
  • Jackie Brookner, Stephanie Flom, and Ann Rosenthal
  • Helen Mayer Harrison & Newton Harrison
  • Walter Hood & Alma Du Solier
  • Huit Facettes-Interaction Abdoulaye Ndoye
  • Ichi Ikeda
  • Constance & Tom Merriman
  • A. Laurie Palmer
  • Park Fiction
  • Platform
  • Susan Steinman & Suzanne Lacy and Yutaka Kobayashi
  • WochenKlausur

new media artists:

  • Lillian Ball
  • Agricola De Cologne
  • Amy Franceschini/Free Soil
  • Ben Fry and Casey Reas
  • Fernando Garcia-Dory
  • Christina McPhee
  • Christina Ulke
  • Marc Herbst
  • Aviva Rahmani