Climate Challenge

Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Exhibition + Festival

logo-cf-c14-transThe Cape Farewell Foundation in Canada announced details today of a unique, visionary and powerful four-month cultural engagement on one of the most pressing issues of our time— climate change.

The Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Exhibition + Festival will take place between October 2013 and February 2014, encompassing multifaceted programs, including a major exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Centre for Contemporary Culture, a performing arts festival with The Theatre Centre, and a rich series of public programs and events.

As the centrepiece, the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition at the ROM opens October 19, 2013 – February 2, 2014. The exhibition will include bold collaborative projects by: Zacharias Kunuk + Ian Mauro, Myfanwy MacLeod + Janna Levitt, Mel Chin, Lisa Steele + Kim Tomczak, Sharon Switzer, Minerva Cuevas, Melanie Gilligan + Tom Ackers, Donald Weber, David Buckland + Tom Rand, and Jaco Ishulutaq.

The Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition was produced by Cape Farewell Foundation in partnership with ROM Contemporary Culture and is curated by David Buckland and Claire Sykes.

“Confronting the facts around global climate change, the artists participating in Carbon 14: Climate is Culture are all responding to different aspects of this climate challenge, in poignant, nuanced, subversive, often humorous, and always passionately human ways. Subjects include explorations of a changing Arctic, the health of the oceans, bio-diversity and extinction, sustainability and new, clean technologies; and centrally questions of politics, economics, and ethics.”

– Claire Sykes, Curator and Programming Director for Cape Farewell Foundation

For 12 years, Cape Farewell has successfully brought together artists and scientists—some of the most creative and insightful minds available to us— to interrogate the reality of climate change, to address causes and envision solutions, and to imagine, design, and communicate on an emotional and human scale what a resilient and exciting future might look like. Working internationally through a rich program of expeditions, research, exhibitions, public art projects, books, films and performances, Cape Farewell, as creative agent for change and the leading cultural catalyst on climate, has successfully inspired some of our greatest storytellers to address humanity’s greatest challenge. Now Cape Farewell has a North American base in Toronto.

“The people of the City of Toronto will be proud to be the first North American city to host a Cape Farewell Festival, and to have an opportunity to present the global issue of climate change through a Canadian lens. Torontonians are concerned about their environment and the effects of climate change, and we hope that the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Exhibition + Festival will become an important part of the Toronto calendar.”

– David Miller, Chair of Cape Farewell Foundation, Toronto

“In November 2011, on the shores of Lake Ontario, we invited twenty-five North American visual artists, film makers, musicians, writers, and advertising directors to gather in Toronto to interrogate eight ‘informers’ drawn from across the professional spectrum of climate engagement; climate scientists, economists, new energy technologists, and social scientists; on the facts of climate change. The ask from the creative minds was to engage and through a process of action-based research make artworks, plays, music, poetry that would form the basis of an exhibition at the ROM. Two years later, they have triumphed! Fourteen collaborative works will be presented as part of the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition and surrounding festival.”

– David Buckland, artist, and Founder and International Director of Cape Farewell

For further information, interview requests, or media passes to events, please contact:

Debby de Groot, MDG & Associates
647.295.2970
debby@mdgassociates.com

Click here to download the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Exhibition + Festival Press Release.

ashdenizen: when science meets art … successfully

Kellie Payne has attended numerous ‘art and science’ events, but in this guest blog she argues that last weekend’s day-long symposiumRising To The Climate Challenge: Artists and Scientists Imagine Tomorrow’s World was particularly successful.

The Tate had paired with the Royal Society to present an impressive line-up of speakers, including artists Lucy Orta, Tomás Saraceno and the eminent land artist Agnes Denes. But its success could be attributed to another reason.

Kellie Payne writes:

Rather than framing the question as: ‘how can artists help scientists communicate climate change?’, last Saturday’s symposium Rising To The Climate Challenge took the view that art and science had two very different perspectives to offer and much could come from their collaborations. Art’s role isn’t simply to reformulate and appealingly package the scientific messages; instead it has a more fundamental exploratory and imaginative role. 

The climate science programme largely reflected the Royal Society’s priorities and included, along with the expected division of adaptation and mitigation a third one, geo-engineering. However, oceanographer and earth scientist Corinne Le Quéré , who introduced the topic, revealed that she was stuck with presenting it because none of the other speakers wanted it. Professor Le Quéré gave a well-balanced presentation comparing the various options’ effectiveness (predicted ˚C temperature change) versus the level of risk.

With more controversial options such as the frightening volcanic method, where artificial volcanoes are created in the atmosphere to reflect and reduce solar radiation, she demonstrated that even this was only a temporary fix. The volcanoes would need to continually be created because as soon as they ceased, CO2 levels in the atmosphere would rapidly return to pre-volcanic levels. A less risky option, managing earth radiation through afforestation was shown to be less effective, with a possible decrease in warming projected at only 1˚C.

Agnes Denes’ land art was incorporated into the topic of geo-engineering because her large-scale works often drastically alter the landscape. In Finland she created Tree Mountain- A Living Time Capsule, building a conical mountain and planting it with 11,000 trees, and planting and harvesting a wheat field in central Manhattan (Wheatfield: A Confrontation). During her slide show, Denes explained that she likes to investigate the paradoxes of human existence: logic, evolution, time, sound, etc. and believes that by shaping and structuring the future we can control our own evolution.

Tomás Saraceno presented with an infectious energy, bursting with novel, if impractical ideas that included his floating ecosystems.  Saraceno makes bold and imaginative attempts to stretch the boundaries of our conceptions of space and gravity with his experimental floating pods. His presentation was paired nicely with Oxford social scientist Steve Rayner’s on adaptation. He focused on cities of the future and the importance of instituting greater flexibility within existing infrastructures in order to cope with future climate events such as extreme flooding. He admires Saraceno’s work, in particular his innovation with new materials, shapes, and possibilities of new patterns of organisation.

Rayner highlighted three typical art/science interactions. The first was demonstrated by a photograph of a diseased liver cell and represented the mode of seeing beauty in the scientific. The second was art’s influence on science (mainly through science fiction such as HG Wells and Jules Verne), the model of artists stimulating scientists with their work leading to new ideas and discourses. The third – which Rayner thought the most compelling – were the interactions between scientists and artists that occur when artists ‘do science through art’. Essentially, where the borders between the two are eliminated and artists employ scientific methodology in their creations, as demonstrated in Saraceno’s work.

The collaboration between scientific institutions and artists was illustrated in a discussion between the Natural History Museum’sRobert Bloomfield and artist Lucy Orta , whose upcoming exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery Perpetual Amazonia is extensively researched using the NHM’s entomology, botany and palaeontology collections. The exhibition will also be informed by Lucy and her partner Jorge’s expedition to the Peru with Cape Farewell in 2009.  Bloomfield specialises in biodiversity and stressed the importance of the interrelations between climate change and biodiversity loss and ecosystem services.

The event was recorded. Podcasts will be available soon on the Tate website.

via ashdenizen: when science meets art … successfully.