JEFFREY KASTNER is a New York-based writer and the senior editor of Cabinet magazine. A longtime contributor of criticism and journalism to publications such as Artforum and the New York Times, his monographic essays have appeared in exhibition publications for artists including Doug Aitken, David Altmejd, Jeremy Blake, Michaël Borremans, Tomás Saraceno, and Sarah Sze. His books include the edited volumes Land and Environmental Art (Phaidon, 1998) and Documents of Contemporary Art: Nature (MIT Press/Whitechapel, 2012).
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I’d like to try to frame the question that’s been posed here less as a consideration of how art might impact thinking about the environment and the various social effects of its continued degradation, and more as an inquiry into how certain styles of thinking might inform art making and shape its ability to effectively influence opinions and action on such issues.