disaster issue

DIS x ECOCORE present the disaster issue

‘Climate change is not hysteria, it’s a fact’
Leonardo DiCaprio at the U.N.


The disaster issue, guest edited by ECOCORE, looks at the ways we understand nature today, explores the forgotten corners of ecology, and observes how a new political format is emerging in response to environmentalism’s struggling project.

Ecology is an unpleasant and unattractive subject that provokes a morbid anxiety. It reminds us of our impending finitude, crisis, and death. It’s a subject that has long been culturally and governmentally repressed. As it takes accelerating immediacy on a world stage, it becomes increasingly urgent to reimagine the co-existence of human economies and natural ecosystems.

Since Leonardo DiCaprio’s UN address, the term ‘disaster’ has been embedded in our consciousness when thinking about our eco crisis. His assigned authority on the issue recalls the problem of ecology as unsexy, and creates a sense of unease about a general social demand to glamorize morality and political engagement. Why do we look to celebrities for policy making? Looking at Pamela Anderson’s involvement with environmental and animal protection charities, Stella McCartney’s ethical fashion, Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge, Vivienne Westwood’s campaigning, it seems clear that ecology is so undesirable a subject it only becomes an aspirational project via our understanding of famous characters. We suspend our disbelief, as the Titanic star points out, ‘as if it were a fiction’.

After the Climate Change march in New York, we are left in a state of ambivalence. While it’s been viewed as impactful and at the very least rousing, there’s also an underlying sense of tragedy and defeat.

Can we curb our pursuit of the Western lifestyle, which at the current rate would take us 4 planets to sustain? There is no doubt that we over-consume, and if we continue living as we do we will inevitably and imminently exhaust our resources. The last 40 years have seen us lose half the earth’s wildlife, while we set nature to work for us as if it were machine. There is a palpable atmosphere of ‘the end is nigh!’.

There is no planet B!

The disaster issue wants to construct a space for hope, entertaining the belief that we have the opportunity to change our way of being on earth, negotiating and reorganising the ethics of ecology. The work in this issue operates as an ‘ambient poetics’, denoting instances of environmental suffering, as well as alerting us to the ecological catastrophe that has arguably already happened. ECOCORE stands to operate as a grassroots representative for a concerned generation, aiming to address our future relationship with nature from the perspective of art and culture, assembling a mix of real world phenomena, theoretical investigations, and artists’ contributions.

by Alessandro Bava and Rebecca Sharp

Editorial Assistants: Claire Gustavson and Ada O’Higgins

Developer: Jon Lucas

ECOCORE is an irregularly published ecology zine founded by Alessandro Bava. It has pioneered discussions around ecology since 2010, by thrusting ecology into the agenda via the commissioned work of artists, writers, poets etc… ECOCORE questions the established rhetorics of environmentalism, without providing definitive answers. Nevertheless it is urgent to decide whether we care about extinction or would like to ride the party while it lasts. ECOCORE is interested in the transition from the idea that nature exists to sustain civilization, towards a reorientated acknowledgement of our debt and responsibility.


Table of Contents

1. The early poetry of Pasolini, a prophet in times where ecological crisis was not yet on our conscience. Translated for the first time in English.

2. Digital collective AUJIK presents a new work,’Plasticity Unfolding.’

3. Matthew Claudel and Kat Eshel discuss the metropolitics of nature and how to integrate nature into cities in non-traditional way.

4. Veit Laurent Kurz constructs micro environments that are completely synthetic with the idea that ecology goes beyond nature.

5. Andrew Durbin reports from the People’s Climate Change March.

6. Andrew Norman Wilson premieres a new video work, ‘Uncertainty Seminars’.

7. Artist Eduardo Villanes talks to GMO giant Monsanto, Ecocore interviews Eco-Christians.

8. Isaac J Lock explores Eco-Terrorism from a personal perspective.

9. For a world dominated by scarcity, Amalia Ulman and Nina Cristante have created a work-out plan and lifestyle guide.

10. Martti Kaliala and Daniel Keller go back to the sea and explore Seasteading.

11. Alex Dolan and Carlos Reyes do a special intervention on our homepage, which will run throughout the issue.

12. Tue Greenfort discusses his new ecology driven bodies of work with Sarah Lookofsky.

13. Hans Ulrich Obrist interviews Timothy Morton on the aesthetics of ecology.

14. Together with artist Kimmo Modig we challenged art institutions to carbon neutrality, with the help of pioneers Artists Space and Grand Century!

15. Victoria Ivanova presents Dark Velocity, an article in the tradition of a financial investment prospectus that seeks to discuss the need for an expanded understanding of “ecology.”

16. Felix Melia, Josh Bitelli, and Max Ortega burned sage and filmed shamanic fashions.

17. Matteo Pasquinelli and Wietske Maas redescribe the digestion of the urban landscape in their ‘Manifesto of Urban Cannibalism’, after De Andrade’s ‘Cannibalist Manifesto.’

18. Dark Psychedelia, a conversation between Gean Moreno and Michael Jones McKean.

18. A new mix: Music for Plants.

DIS Magazine logo, small