Art Performance with Hundreds of Children as Statement Against Rising Sea Levels at United Nations Climate Conference #COP16

Javier Velasco, La Isla Hundida, Performance, 2010

November 29-December 10, 2010

New York-Valencia-Zurich, November 9, 2010—ARTPORT_making waves, an international arts and sustainability organization, and CINEMA PLANETA, a Mexico-based environmental film festival with international reach, present Cancun: 2 Degrees of Separation, a comprehensive arts program aimed at bringing a breath of fresh air to a sapless United Nations Climate Conference, COP16, in Cancun, from November 29-December 10, 2010.

As part of 2 Degrees, Artist Javier Velasco, who has exhibited at the Venice Biennial, will make a statement about rising sea levels with a live arts performance involving hundreds of local children in a public space in Cancun—right at the heart of the conference. The performance will be accompanied by a rich program of a cell phone video contest, art video screenings, panel discussions on the role of art in the climate debate, and an exhibition on gender and climate change.

Anne-Marie Melster, Corinne Erni, and Oliver Orest Tschirky from ARTPORT_making waves are behind the innovative concept of bringing art to the heart of where it matters. They explain: “Art can inspire change, and that’s why we bring this program to the very people who will be making crucial decisions about the future of our planet.”

2 Degrees will take place in public spaces, at CINEMEX movie theaters, on large outdoor screens, and conference locations in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, Mexico.

A detailed program, schedule, and locations will be announced at the end of November.

About Cancun: 2 Degrees of Separation

La Isla Hundida (The Drowned Island) is an interactive art performance with hundreds of children by the internationally renowned artist Javier Velasco. In collaboration with the International American School of Cancun, Velasco will work with local children to build little islands and drown them in a large container filled with water in a public space in Cancun. This symbolic, playful and educational act is intended to create awareness about rising sea levels among the next generation. Prior to the performance, Velasco will work with the school to teach the children about climate change. Velasco represented Spain at the Venice Biennale in 2001, and has exhibited at MoMA P.S.1 in New York and the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville in 2004 under the direction of Harald Szeemann. The message of La Isla Hundida will be spread beyond Cancun. We will invite children, schools, and educators around the world to participate in the project and share photos, videos, and comments from their own performances on the website

20 Seconds for the Planet is a cell phone video contest by Cinema Planeta in collaboration with Green Film Network and Environmental Film Festivals Network. People from all over the world are invited to produce a video with a cell phone. Each festival from the networks selects 10 winning videos—based on content, message, and creativity. All winning videos will be shown as a “video wall” in Cancun.

Cool Stories For When The Planet Gets Hot II is a compilation of 17 short videos and animations by international artists who won the second short video and animation contest on Global Warming by ARTPORT_making waves in 2009. It was first shown in conjunction with Art 40 Basel 2009, Switzerland.

ARTPORT_making waves and CINEMA PLANETA will jointly host a panel discussion bringing forward ideas of how art can have an impact in political decision-making, especially in the climate debate. We will invite artists and participants of the Conference—scientists, politicians, and economists—to participate.

Leading up to the events in Cancun, ARTPORT_making waves presents (Re-) Cycles of Paradise, an exhibition on gender and climate change, to open on November 11, 2010 and running through January 9, 2011, at the Spanish Cultural Center in Mexico City. The exhibition explores both the vulnerability and ingenuity of women faced with climate change. The exhibition was launched in conjunction with COP15 in Copenhagen last December.

Partners: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); International American School of Cancun, Mexico; Summit of Environmental Cinema, Mexico; Government of the Maldives; Maldivian Youth Climate Network; Bluepeace Maldives; Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID); IPADE Foundation Spain.

About ARTPORT_making waves and CINEMA PLANETA

ARTPORT_making waves is an international curator’s collective that raises awareness about current social and political issues worldwide through theme-oriented exhibitions, residency programs, and artists collaborations. ARTPORT_making waves aims at creating sustainable networks of artists, curators, galleries, and art collectors to promote a true globalization of the artistic discourse, giving a voice to promising artists from all over the world. At the same time, ARTPORT_making waves encourages the cross-fertilization of art, science, and politics. ARTPORT_making waves is a fiscally sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and incorporated as non-profit associations in Spain and Switzerland.

CINEMA PLANETA is an international film festival and non-profit organization based in Mexico. The festival is committed to creating spaces of consciousness and to raising awareness through images that promote the conservation of the planet through film, art, and science. The program includes exhibitions of photojournalism and contemporary art, conferences, and open air cinema. It takes place every spring in Cuernavaca, Morelos, and is a unique initiative in Mexico. CINEMA PLANETA has presented more than 100 contemporary films in various sections in its first two editions. The films have previously been shown at festivals like Sundance, Cannes, and at the Oscar’s. CINEMA PLANETA is a member of the Green Film Network and Environmental Film Festivals Network.


Corinne Erni, Co-Founder and Co-Director of ARTPORT_maing waves New York

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