Beyond the World′s End

Arts of Living at the Crossing

Book Pages: 272 Illustrations: 55 illustrations Published: September 2020

Author: T. J. Demos

Art and Visual Culture > Art History, Cultural Studies, Globalization and Neoliberalism

In Beyond the World's End T. J. Demos explores cultural practices that provide radical propositions for living in a world beset by environmental and political crises. Rethinking relationships between aesthetics and an expanded political ecology that foregrounds just futurity, Demos examines how contemporary artists are diversely addressing urgent themes, including John Akomfrah's cinematic entanglements of racial capitalism with current environmental threats, the visual politics of climate refugees in work by Forensic Architecture and Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, and moving images of Afrofuturist climate justice in projects by Arthur Jafa and Martine Syms. Demos considers video and mixed-media art that responds to resource extraction in works by Angela Melitopoulos, Allora & Calzadilla, and Ursula Biemann, as well as the multispecies ecologies of Terike Haapoja and Public Studio. Throughout Demos contends that contemporary intersections of aesthetics and politics, as exemplified in the Standing Rock #NoDAPL campaign and the Zad's autonomous zone in France, are creating the imaginaries that will be crucial to building a socially just and flourishing future.


“T. J. Demos has for some time charted intertwining artistic and activist responses to environmental catastrophe, and here he is at his best. This book is powerful and necessary.” — Julia Bryan-Wilson, author of Fray: Art and Textile Politics

Beyond the World's End rethinks the complex relationship between political ecology and artistic practice. Written in the clear, provocative prose for which T. J. Demos is already widely admired, this important book operates within the framework of environmental and, by extension, climate justice and provides a glimmer of hope in the midst of the current catastrophe.” — Alexander Alberro, Barnard College


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

T. J. Demos is Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture and Director of the Center for Creative Ecologies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author of several books, including The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary during Global Crisis, also published by Duke University Press, and Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today.

Table of Contents Back to Top
List of Illustrations  vii
Introduction. The World's End, and Beyond  1
1. Feeding the Ghost: John Akomfrah's Vertigo Sea  23
2. Blackout: The Necropolitics of Extraction  43
3. The Visual Politics of Climate Refugees  68
4. Gaming the Environment: On the Media Ecology of Public Studio  96
5. Animal Cosmopolitics: The Art of Gustafsson&Haapoga  116
6. To Save a World: Geoengineering, Conflictual Futurisms, and the Unthinkable  137
7. The Great Transition: The Arts and Radical System Change  163
Acknowledgments  195
Notes  199
Index  249
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0957-3 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0866-8