• emmafromont99

Research: The Ecological Thought

Updated: Mar 22

In his book 'The Ecological Thought', Professor Timothy Morton defines ecology as "a vast sprawling mesh of interconnection without definitive centre or edge. It is radical intimacy, coexistence with other beings, sentient or otherwise." This is by far one of my favourite definitions of the term I have come across so far, and has become one of the leading points of departure for my work.


Notes from 'The Ecological Thought':

  • "Ecology is profoundly about coexistence" pg 4

  • "it is a vast, sprawling mesh of interconnection without definitive centre or edge. It is radical intimacy, coexistence with other beings, sentient or otherwise." Pg 8

  • "art can help us, because it is a place in our culture that deals with intensity, shame, objection and loss. It also deals with reality and unreality, being and seeming." Pg 10

  • "studying art provides a platform, because the environment is partly a matter of perception. Art forms have something to tell us about the environment because they can make us question reality." Pg 10

  • "what we call nature is a denatured, unnatural, uncanny sequence  of mutations and catastrophic events" pg 8

  • "ecological art, and the ecological-ness of all art isn't just about something. Ecological art is something, or maybe it does something. Art is ecological insofar as it is made from materials and exists in the world." Pg 11

  • "studying art is important because art sometimes gives voice to what is unspeakable elswhere... since the ecological thought is so new and so open, we should expect art to show us some of the way." Pg 12

  • Nothing exists all by itself, and so nothing is fully itself. Pg 15

  • Indigenous – when we think of indigenous we tend to impose a western ideology of localism and 'small is beautiful' onto them. The very people we think of as thinking small may think the biggest of all. Pg 15


Morton, Timothy. The Ecological Thought. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012.

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