... with Sacha Kagan

1. Books the world doesn't need. Why is this not the case for your publication? The book strives to understand what is meant by ›culture(s) of sustainability‹ and explores the specific... >>>
... with Sacha Kagan

1. Books the world doesn't need. Why is this not the case for your publication? The book strives to understand what is meant by ›culture(s) of sustainability‹ and explores the specific role of art in this context. Why bother ask such questions? These questions matter to us and to future generations, because the search process of sustainability will fail if it neglects its own cultural dimension.

2. Which novel points of view does your publication offer?
The book not only gives an overview of a whole range of artistic experiences, in the search for (a) culture(s) of sustainability, but it also develops a theoretical basis for artistic and cultural strategies of transformation. The book especially brings forward the idea that we should develop our sensibilities to complexity. That would foster our capabilities of resilience to the coming global crises.

3. What is the significance of the subject in current debates?
Serious discourses on culture, art and sustainability have only started to emerge in the past few years, across a number of academic disciplines. They are often lacking a theoretical grounding. Furthermore, the insights of Edgar Morin on complexity and transdisciplinarity have not reached the English and German-speaking worlds yet. My book aims to change that situation.

4. With whom would you most like to discuss your publication?
For my own personal development, I'd love to discuss it with Edgar Morin (the French philosopher and sociologist whose ideas inspired me very much for this book). In the public interest, I'd most need to discuss this book with people in key positions in the fields of the arts, education and policy, but also with so-called ›multiplicators‹ across all areas of society.

5. Your publication in one sentence:
If we wish to live well, together, we need to foster our subversive imaginations, with the help of challenging art and aesthetics of complexity. <<<

Sacha Kagan

Art and Sustainability

Connecting Patterns for a Culture of Complexity
(2nd emended edition 2013)

What is the cultural dimension of sustainability? This book offers a thought-provoking answer, with a theoretical synthesis on »cultures of sustainability«. Describing how modernity degenerated into a culture of unsustainability, to which the arts are contributing, Sacha Kagan engages us in a fundamental rethinking of our ways of knowing and seeing the world. We must learn not to be afraid of complexity, and to re-awaken a sensibility to patterns that connect. With an overview of ecological art over the past 40 years, and a discussion of art and social change, the book assesses the potential role of art in a much needed transformation process.


Sacha Kagan is research associate at Leuphana University Lueneburg and founding coordinator of the international network Cultura21. He works in the trans-disciplinary field of arts and (un-)sustainability.

Reviewed in:, 8 (2011)
Oxford Art Journal, 35/1 (2012)
International Journal of Cultural Policy, 1-3 (2012), George Kaye Oya, 9 (2011), Lara Mallien
Kulturelle Bildung, 9 (2012)
The Goose, 11 (2012), Anne Milne
Stradda, 25 (2012), Martina Marti
International Sociology, 27/9 (2012), Diane Barthel-Bouchier
Laboratorium, 5/2 (2013)

Culture Sciences, Sustainability Studies, Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Art, Philosophy, Art Studies, Cultural Ecology

»Selten hat jemand die entscheidenden zukunftsweisenden Ansätze Systemtheorie, Phänomenologie und Autoökopoiese so gut miteinander in Beziehung gesetzt wie Sacha Kagan in seinem neuen Buch. Auch seine Kritik am Holismus bei der gleichzeitigen Würdigung dieses Ansatzes ist sehr gelungen. Es wäre zu wünschen, dass dieser in erster Linie angelsächsische Diskurs durch Sacha Kagans Arbeit stärker Eingang in die deutschsprachige akademische Welt findet und im Zuge dessen auch von einer breiteren Öffentlichkeit wahrgenommen wird. Denn Nachhaltigkeit als kulturelles Problem zu begreifen und die Kultur der Nicht-Nachhaltigkeit zu durchschauen ist eine Aufgabe, die alle angeht.«
Lara Mallien, Chefredaktion Zeitschrift ›Oya‹

»The field of ecological arts has awaited this seminal work for some time. Grounded in a deep understanding of complexity and the potential for transdisciplinarity, this book liberates art to be meaningful again.«
Dr. David Haley, Ecological Artist and Senior Research Fellow at MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University

»Probably the best book out there on topic. We are all desperate for really brilliant writing about art, culture and the real environmental issues most of us are so concerned with. Kagan's book implies there's light on the intellectual horizon.«
Aviva Rahmani, Ecological Artist

»L'approche de Sacha Kagan des questions que soulèvent les différentes formes d'accompagnement ou de traduction des questions de l'écologie et du développement durable dans le domaine de l'art est remarquable, non seulement pour l'ampleur des aspects pris en considération mais surtout pour l'attachement remarquable dont témoigne l'auteur pour une pensée de la complexité, telle qu'elle a été développée notamment par Edgar Morin. Il y a lá un véritable effort pour renouveler la réflexion sur l'activité artistique dans ce domaine aujourd'hui.«
Prof. Dr. Jacques Leenhardt, Directeur d'Études l'école des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris, France) et Président d'Honneur de l'Association Internationale des Critiques d'Art (AICA)

Print 39,80 €

07/2011, 514 Seiten, kart., zahlr. Abb.
ISBN 978-3-8376-1803-7

Artikel-Nr.: 1803

-1803-7: Kagan, Art and Sustainability

Connecting Patterns for a Culture of Complexity
(2nd emended edition 2013)


Lieferzeit in der Regel 3-5 Werktage


E-Book 38,99 €

PDF-Download, 2,97 MB
03/2014, 514 Seiten
ISBN 978-3-8394-1803-1

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