Lecture date: 1997-01-24
‘Conservation’ has established itself as the unexamined virtue of our age. It serves as a new norm with which to express a reinvented relation to nature, and its scope extends from the plea to ‘save’ the planet to the pressure to control the body and its appetites. It also involves a claim that the past and its objects should be preserved, which would manacle us to existence through an old kind of tenure – as tenants who hand on to the future a world of minimised wear and tear. This lecture series deals with these claims and demands, treating them as symptoms of, rather than solutions to real problems.