As an art and environment conversation, I would like to begin to address this question from the perspective of creative practices: How can creative practices be approached in a way that allows nature to lead OR recognises that nature must lead? A sub-question to this would be: How do we do this without being prescriptive? While it is always possible, desirable, for art to elicit a shift in consciousness - Mark Dion - or an emotional turmoil - Louise Bourgeois or a reminder of a lost nerve - Berlinde de Bruyckere these affects are given in ways that are non-prescriptive. They invite us to look and feel, and then...something happens. As Gilles Deleuze has said, famously citing Paul Klee, art creates sensations, not representations. Sensations cannot be didactic but they can be more powerful than this: they can compel us to move.
How to open up this place in creative practice, where nature's voice is loud and clear, has been a question that has confounded me, not without glimmers of insight, for a long time. For me it has been a question of how one can be in control without taking control, or how to allow the forces that drive creative activity, forces that are generated through the natural world, to rise up. How to avoid cliche. In some ways, this is not so much a question of the interface of nature and culture, but re-igniting the nature that is inherent to the impulse to create.
I would love to know your thoughts on this: How can nature be "first" in creative practices?