Join Dear Climate artists Marina Zurkow and Oliver Kellhammer in conversation about climate change. Learn strategies to “Befriend Climate Change,” from international environmental crises to hyper-local challenges such as brownfields, decaying urban neighborhoods, and toxic blight right here in North Troy and the Capital Region!
What is Dear Climate? Just a conceptual nudge (not a paradigm shift). The old joke—“Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”—isn’t so funny anymore. Lots of people are trying to do something about the weather. Climate change is on the geopolitical agenda, if only in time for us to realize that it’s too late to do anything meaningful. Maybe the problem’s not that no one’s been doing anything about the weather, but that we’ve been talking about it in the wrong way: the old “let’s fix it” way. Now that the weather’s changed, is it also time to change the way we talk about it?
To craft new kinds of personal engagement with climate change, we charted three “movements of mind.” The first, “Meet Climate Change,” was about openness and encounter, acquaintance and curiosity. Observation and conversation were obvious techniques for this, but so were certain “techniques of consciousness,” like meditation and mindfulness, that seemed to us to be imbued with a spirit of deep friendliness, which led to our second movement: “Befriend Climate Change.” Once you invite someone or something into your mental home, it’s only a matter of time before you get to know it better. The imagination gets seriously involved, the conversation deepens, the plot thickens.
Our third movement was “Become Climate Change.” Taking up the challenge of the new weather means we have to understand our human selves in ways beyond biography, even beyond history. We have to understand our species as a geophysical force that is shaping the systems of our planet. Performing that conceptual feat will require many kinds of imagination, not just the imagination of crisis and catastrophe. It will mean not just doing something about the weather, but talking about it—and feeling about it—differently.
Sponsored by NATURE Lab, Rensselaer’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, iEAR Presents, NYSCA, and NEA.
MORE ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Marina Zurkow is a media artist with a focus on humans’ relationships to animals, plants and the weather. These take the form of multi-channel videos, customized multi-screen computer pieces, animated cartoons, participatory works, and pop objects. Zurkow is represented by Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York; since 2000, she has exhibited at The Sundance Film Festival, The Rotterdam Film Festival, Res Fest, Ars Electronica, Creative Time, The Kitchen, The Walker Art Center, the Brooklyn Museum, The National Museum for Women in the Arts, and Eyebeam, among other venues. Her videos have been broadcast on MTV, FujiTV and PBS. She is a 2005 NYFA Fellow, a 2003 Rockefeller New Media Fellow, and a 2001 Creative Capital grantee. She teaches at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Oliver Kellhammer is a Canadian land artist, permaculture teacher, activist and writer. Through his botanical interventions and public art projects, he seeks to demonstrate nature’s surprising ability to recover from damage. His work facilitates the processes of environmental regeneration by engaging the botanical and socio-political underpinnings of the landscape. It continues to evolve and has taken various forms such as small-scale urban eco-forestry, inner city community agriculture and the restoration of eroded railway ravines. Contact: okellhammer[at]gmail.com | twitter =>okellhammer
Hi res photos: http://www.dearclimate.net/img/pdfs/54.pdf