Lost in the Moment: Ephemeral Art as a Creative Strategy to Explore the Anthropocene



In relation to the wider theme of this journal, this paper explores how ephemeral arts investigate basic ecocritical questions around experience, presence, and loss, through a literal language of fragility and disappearance. Ephemeral art is used here to define a category of artworks which physically exist within a limited timeframe and for which this fixed duration clearly frames the work. Through creating landscape interventions, the three artworks discussed, explore the relationship with what is manmade and artificial, and the physical environment in which they are placed. The conversation the works enable is both with and about our relationship to our physical surrounding. It is an exploration of place and (be)longing through the temporary materialization of an uncertain presence which jarringly subverts the expectation of what fits and what lasts. Specifically, the argument is put forward that ephemeral art through its staging of limited material duration is a coping tool within the Anthropocene which both expresses and confronts the human condition.

Keywords: ephemeral art, coping, ecocriticism, Anthropocene, loss, human condition

DOI: 10.24193/ekphrasis.24.10