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Author Maggs, David, author.

Title Sustainability in an imaginary world : art and the vexed question of agency / David Maggs and John Robinson
Published Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon : Routledge, 2020
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Description 1 online resource
Series Routledge studies in sustainability
Routledge studies in sustainability.
Summary Sustainability in an Imaginary World explores the social agency of art and its connection to complex issues of sustainability. Over the past decade, interest in art's agency has ballooned as an increasing number of fields turn to the arts with ever-expanding expectations. Yet just as art is being heralded as a magic bullet of social change, research is beginning to throw cautionary light on such enthusiasm, challenging the linear, prescriptive, instrumental expectations such transdisciplinary interactions often imply. In this, art finds itself at a treacherous crossroads, unable to turn a deaf ear to calls for help from an increasing number of ostensibly non-aesthetic fields, yet in answering such prescriptive urgencies, jeopardizing the very power for which its help was sought in the first place. This book goes in search of a way forward, proposing a theory of art aiming to preserve the integrity of arts practices within transdisciplinary mandates. This approach is then explored through a series of case studies developed in collaboration with some of Canada's most prominent artists, including internationally renowned nature poet Don McKay; Italian composer and Head of Vancouver New Music, Giorgio Magnanesi; the renowned Electric Company Theatre, led by Kevin Kerr; and finally through a largescale multimedia installation aiming to reimagine the relationship between climate, culture, and human agency. Sustainability in an Imaginary World will be of great interest to students and scholars of arts-based research fields, sustainability studies, and environmental humanities
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes David Maggs carries on an active career as an interdisciplinary artist and arts-researcher. He is the founder and pianist for Dark by Five (, has written works for the stage, and collaborated on large augmented reality projects. David is the artistic director of the rural Canadian interarts festival Gros Morne Summer Music (, founder and publisher of a digital arts magazine (, and the director of The Graham Academy, a youth performing arts training academy. He initiated and co-produced the CBC documentary The Country. As an academic David focuses on arts practices and the challenge of sustainability. His doctoral thesis Artists of the Floating World led to the SSHRC-funded Sustainability in the Imaginary World led by Principal Investigator John Robinson ( His research attempts to understand sustainability as a cultural challenge, and to make sense of art as a driver of social impacts. He has been a featured speaker at the Canadian Arts Summit, The International Transdisciplinarity Conference, the National Valuing Nature Conference, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Z├╝rich), and elsewhere. John Robinson is a Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and the School of the Environment at the University of Toronto. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School and Visiting Professor at Utrecht University in 2019. At U of T, he is Presidential Advisor on the Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability, and heads up the Sustainable Built Environment Performance Assessment (SBEPA) research network. His research focuses on the intersection of climate change mitigation, adaptation and sustainability; the use of visualization, modelling and citizen engagement to explore sustainable futures; sustainable buildings and urban design; the role of the university in contributing to sustainability; creating partnerships for sustainability with non-academic partners; the history and philosophy of sustainability; and, generally, the intersection of sustainability, social and technological change, ways of thinking, and community engagement processes
Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on February 21, 2020)
Subject Art and anthropology.
Art and society.
Artists' representatives.
ART / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
NATURE / Ecology
Form Electronic book
Author Robinson, John, author.
ISBN 0429346581