Emanuele Coccia Frank Perrin HD pieni
Show photographer Frank Perrin

Lecture: Philosopher Emanuele Coccia

  • Date


  • Duration

    2 h

  • Venue

    Pannu Hall

  • Tickets

    Ilmainen / free

  • On Wednesday 20.9. from 5 to 7 PM at Dance House Helsinki

    Free entrance

Italian philosopher Emanuele Coccia, known for his knowledge of nature and particularly the lives of plants, will hold a public lecture on Wednesday, 20 September 2023, at the invitation of Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts and the Saastamoinen Foundation.

The contemporary climate crisis is also and above all the evidence that what we call Earth, is not an object, but it is a subject, it is something that stands before us like any other self: the planet acts freely, it literally does what it wants and we are no longer masters of its behavior, neither from a cognitive nor from a pragmatic point of view. This is why the terms and names of ecological science (the very name of ecology, the concept of ecosystem, that of planet) seem to have become completely useless.

This is why we need art (theater, music, performance, video games, painting, sculpture, installations, fashion, literature, and all other disciplines) to talk about the planet: we can no longer afford to talk about it without making it talk, we can no longer afford to talk about it without staging it as a free subject, as a character of a novel or of a play. That is why ecology must become an art, and art must become the supreme form of ecology.

The event is organized as part of Saastamoinen Foundation Keynote series in cooperation with Uniarts Helsinki.

  • Emanuele Coccia (b. 1976) is particularly famous for defending plants, and he talks about “animalic racism”, in which the plant kingdom is separated outside of the rest of society. “Plants have been forgotten, plants have no place in explaining the world. In this era of an environmental disaster, can we really continue to understand ourselves as separate from photosynthesis-capable plants that our being is intertwined with in our every breath?” Coccia asks.  

    Coccia has been involved in various art productions and is interested in the ontology of images and their defining power. He finds that people who think of nature know how to recognise the cultural character of nature, too. Consequently, artists are important creators of new landscapes. He was part of the Trees exhibition (Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris 2019), which gave a voice to artists, gardeners and philosophers who have established a close connection to trees with their aesthetic or scientific practice.  

    Emanuele Coccia received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Florence in 2005, and he has worked as a research professor in Tokio and Buenos Aires and at Columbia and Harvard Universities. He has written four books, and the Finnish translation of the book The Life of Plants was published in 2020. Since 2011, Coccia has worked as an associate professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. 

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