Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2021
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
University of California, Berkeley
Crafting for the Enemy to Come: The Politics and Poetics of “Green” Energy Infrastructures as Techno-Aesthetic Strategies of Environmental Futures in Taiwan

Addressing climate change is widely understood to be the paramount challenge for humanity and the planet for the coming century, yet solutions to the “energy problem” of reducing carbon emissions require not only the adoption of “green” renewable energy technologies, but also the transition to “green” cultures and social imaginations of environmental futures. My research explores how techno-aesthetic strategies are employed in Taiwan to construct such a transition by examining the politics and poetics of green energy infrastructures through the figure of Taiwan’s environmental artists. My project situates the socially-engaged environmental artist as the new subject of power and possibility that operate in tandem with new energy infrastructures as techno-aesthetic strategies for the production of green futures, by asking: 1. What is the relationship between Taiwan’s environmental artist community and the critical national strategy for green energy adoption? 2. How have artists and their aesthetic potential been co-opted in design solutions for a global environmental crisis that is inextricable with a contemporary cultural and political crisis in Taiwan? 3. What kinds of techno-aesthetic strategies are effective at crafting a “green” culture and collective consciousness for alternative political possibilities and ecological futures? How do transnational networks of contemporary artists not only produce “environmental art,” but also become environmentally productive themselves? This study hypothesizes that the mobilization of Taiwan’s active community of environmental artists represents a robust techno-aesthetic strategy at work within Taiwan’s crafting of new logics for a green future in the face of a contemporary crisis: one that is simultaneously political, technological, and environmental.