By another name


‘The term ‘sustainability’ directs one towards a vague future while tabulating the present. One might calculate one’s position relative to an optimum emissions target. But one doesn’t fall into sustainability as one falls in love.

Metaphors do things, they are performative. Metaphors ‘graft together’ different fields of meaning. And this is a process in which, to quote Paul Ricoeur, ‘imagination is diffused in all directions, reviving former experiences, awakening dormant memories, irrigating adjacent sensorial fields’. The playfulness of metaphor, its absurdity, its irreverence, its defiance of gravity, its mutiny, its profanity, its magic, are what I want to enlist with this project asking artists to suggest their metaphors for sustainability, to irrigate those sensorial fields, whether the metaphors are observant, supportive or critical’.

key words: George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Gregory Bateson, Paul Ricoeur

at Staging Sustainability, University of York, Toronto 2011