Against the Anthropocene
Visual Culture and Environment Today
T. J. Demos


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“T. J. Demos is one of the most important critics of visual culture and its politics today. In this must-read book he makes a compelling argument not only against the discourse of the Anthropocene but also for an activist, critical, and intersectional culture of climate justice.”
— Carrie Lambert-Beatty,
Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies and of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University

Popular Culture, Theory / History / Criticism
Addressing the current upswing of attention in the sciences, arts, and humanities to the new proposal that we are in a human-driven epoch called the Anthropocene, this book critically surveys that thesis and points to its limitations. It analyzes contemporary visual culture—popular science websites, remote sensing and SatNav imagery, eco-activist mobilizations, and experimental artistic projects—to consider how the term proposes more than merely a description of objective geological periodization. This book argues that the Anthropocene terminology works ideologically in support of a neoliberal financialization of nature, anthropocentric political economy, and endorsement of geoengineering as the preferred—but likely disastrous—method of approaching climate change. To democratize decisions about the world’s near future, we urgently need to subject the Anthropocene thesis to critical scrutiny and develop creative alternatives in the present.

T.J. Demos is an art historian and cultural critic who writes on contemporary art and visual culture, particularly in relation to globalization, politics, migration and ecology.


25 color

132 pages, 25 illustrations
Paperback, 14x20 cm
Sternberg Press, 1st edition 2017
ISBN 9783956792106