Evolving Interpretations of Wilderness

Thursday, April 5 2012 at 5:30 PM

Location: Commons/TLC 040

Philip Govedare, professor of fine art at the University of Washington will present "Evolving Interpretations of Wilderness" on Thursday April 5, 5:30 p.m. in the Commons/TLC 040.

The lecture will cover: population, technology and development have impacted life on earth in ways that were unthinkable at the beginning of the 19th century. How we, as humans, see ourselves in relation to nature, the earth and its resources has changed as well. Wilderness in the frontier days was conceived of as something to be feared- a dangerous, profane and desolate wasteland. Today, for many, wilderness is imbued with a sense of purity and sacred significance, as a place of fortification, inspiration and spiritual renewal. It is also a place for recreation. With nature threatened by human activity, how do we define wilderness today? Any idea of wilderness must take into account environmental factors such as climate change that cross boundaries and increasingly impact ecosystems everywhere. As wilderness attracts increasing numbers of nature admirers its intrinsic value is undermined. On what terms do we value nature and wilderness, and what is its role in the human imagination? In the words of A.J. Rush, "When man obliterates wilderness, he repudiates the evolutionary force that put him on this planet. In a deeply terrifying sense, man is on his own." Beginning with the earliest cave drawings in Paleolithic times to neoclassical and romantic landscapes to contemporary aerial photography of vast expanses, humans have represented nature and landscape in art. Implicit in these images is the human perspective. Through paintings and photography, Govedare will show changing representations of nature and attitudes towards wilderness by artists beginning with the 19th century to the present day.

Lecture co-hosted by: CAA Speaker's Series, U-Idaho Geography Department, Bioregional Planning and Community Design, College of Natural Resources

Event web: https://www.facebook.com/events/200757120038041/