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the ruins of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s house overlooking Lake Eidsvatnet in Skjolden on the west coast of Norway - credit Guy MoretonImage credit: Guy Moreton LW118, Skjolden, Norway 2001/2005 (the ruins of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s house overlooking Lake Eidsvatnet in Skjolden on the west coast of Norway)

The Art, Environment and Social Change Research Group identifies the triad of art, environment, and social change as key theoretical frameworks in responding to the current ecological crisis through the optics of art, beyond a narrow definition of art as a display of artefact. Current social stratification, inequalities, and conflicts are tied to ecological crisis, and creative practice, critical exploration of untested ideas and rigorous academic research can play a significant role in improving the current situations.

Bringing postgraduate students, internal and external researchers together, the group responds to the complex entanglement of forces making up a crisis. Acknowledging the importance of intricately weaving together both theoretical discourses and generative practices, the group provides a platform for discussing, imagining, devising, and developing new strategies, narratives, and practices in response to the situations in which the concerns relating to ecology can open passages towards more accountable and responsible positions.

Areas of expertise/interest

  • Art
  • Cultural practice
  • Curation
  • Fashion
  • Sustainable design
  • Environment
  • Ecology
  • Ecological anxiety
  • Air pollution
  • Nuclear history and present
  • Other
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Data trap
  • Coloniality
  • Extractivism
  • Slow violence

Group aim

In response to the ecological crisis, the group aims to develop discourses, strategies to find solutions, suggestions and practices that may allow for social change.

Through discussions and channelling ideas and researchers’ practices into collective bodies of works such as exhibitions and publications, the group aims at accounting the lived experiences of climate change and investigating and responding to the emotional and psychological impacts of ecological crisis.

Postgraduate research opportunities

The Art, Environment and Social Change Research Group offers supervision for MPhil/PhD degrees. This includes practice-led research in a wider definition of art including fine art, photography, video, curation, fashion among others. We welcome prospective post graduate research students who are interested in pursuing research in the areas of art, environment and social change. If you are interested, do please contact our research degree office. For an informal discussion of your proposal please contact Dr Atsuhide Ito or Dr Jessica Holtaway.

Team members

profile-defaultAlexandra Lethbridge

Publications, exhibitions and other research outcomes from members of the AESC research group


HOLTAWAY J. 2021. ‘World-Forming and Contemporary Art’. Routledge. UK

ITO, A. 2021. “Hauntology of the Machinic”.  In Steven John Thompson (ed.) Machine Law, Ethics, and Morality in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. IGI Global.

MORETON, G. 2021. ‘Narrative, Figure, Place: New Acquisitions 2011-2021', Southampton City Art Gallery (24 September 2021–29 January 2022)

MORETON, G. 2019. ‘Hutopia’, curated by Dieter Roelstraete. Neubauer Collegium, University of Chicago, USA (25 April 2019–6 September 2019)

MORETON, G. 2018. ‘Machines à Penser’, curated by Dieter Roelstraete. Fondazione Prada Venice, Italy. The Venice Biennale (26 May 2018–25 November 2018)

SLEVIN, T., 2015. Visions of the human : art, World War I and the modernist subject. London: I.B. Tauris.

SLEVIN, T. 2022. ‘X-Rays: Technological Revelation and its Cultural Receptions’ in A. Goody and I. Whittington, eds, The Edinburgh Companion to Modernism and Technology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.


ITO, A. 2022.  “Semantics of Cleanliness”. In: Shabliy, E.V., Crawford, M.J., Kurochkin, D. (eds) Energy Justice. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

ITO, A. 2021. “Translating Slow Violence: The Use of Environmental Data in Art as Un-Forecasting” in Acoustic and Visual Ecology of Damaged Planet, Special Issue of AM Journal of Art and Media Studies

MORETON, G. 2018. ‘Jacquetta Hawkes’. In: Heron, F., ‘Photography and Landscape’, Photography Culture. The Photographers’ Gallery London (online resource including gallery).

MORETON, G. 2017. ‘Somewhere Becoming Sea’, Humber Street Gallery, Hull UK City of Culture curated by Steven Bode, Film and Video Umbrella (5 April 2017–17 June 2017)

MORETON, G. 2015. ‘In Place of Architecture’, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University (6 November 2015–11 December 2015)

PYAKUREL, P. 2021. “Green growth or degrowth? Evaluating the potential of technology for sustainability”. Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment, DOI:  10.3280/EFE2021-001002.

SLEVIN, T. 2018. ‘Vision, revelation, violence: Technology and expanded perception within photographic history.’ Philosophy of Photography, Vol. 9, Number 1

Social Change

PYAKUREL, P., MARASINI, R. 2021. “Policy planning to achieve sustainable development goals for low-income nations”. Environmental Development, 40.

Newsletters and contact

If you would like to join our newsletter list and participate in our events, please email Dr Atsuhide Ito or Dr Jessica Holtaway.

Recent newsletters

Spring 2022 Newsletter

Autumn 2022 Newsletter

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