Course works from the Aalto University’s University Wide Art Studies UWAS course How Did We Get Into This Mess: Exploring the Past in History, Science and Art
The course goes through the greatest utopias of modern technological, societal, cultural and economical planning to gain familiarity with cosmic scale stupidities and the possible strategies available for human civilisations to keep on going. Using socio-ecological theory and case studies, as well as material and energy flow analysis, we will study the energy and resource base of our societal systems, and discuss the main approaches to the current ecological crisis. We will consider how these different traditions have been constructed and their views of humanity, nature, and materiality.
When we ask, what is energy production for, the answer is —mainly for fulfilling social and cultural ideals. So to question and redirect these, it turns out arts, design and architecture are suddenly the key actors. Which skills should creative professionals learn to contribute and not drop out when many industries and sectors are reshaped or even vanishing? We will look close at plausible plans for reaching sustainability/resilience, socially, culturally and economically in a large scale.
Dulce Canha, Ema Ursic, Hilla Ruuska, Jassir Kuronen, Johan-Sebastian Rintala, Juho Antikainen, Labiba Abdul, Leire de Meer, Oana Iliescu, Tytti Toimi
University Wide Art Studies (UWAS) offers every Aalto student an access to art-based thinking, creative practices, and culture. UWAS opens a possibility to include art and design studies to one’s curriculum and broaden one’s knowledge and skills beyond disciplinary boundaries. This ensures that Aalto University educates multidisciplinary graduates informed in and knowledgeable of how art and creative practices shape and define the world around us. There are no prerequisites for UWAS courses, so students from all Aalto schools are welcome to participate.
All images and texts © 2021 Aalto University and the artists.