Climate Science

Living Data: Art from climate science at the Muse

Image: ‘When I Was Buoyant’, Josh Wodak

Image: ‘When I Was Buoyant’, Josh Wodak

A dramatic art exhibition inspired by climate science.

See through icy veils of mesh as art and data come together to create past, present and future forms of life. Wonder at physical and virtual models of life forms as they evolve. Discover your genetic ancestors in the algae that photosynthesise light to make the energy that sustains us.

Immerse yourself in an exhibition that challenges your senses with artworks that combine scientific and sensory knowledge of climate change.

Curated by Dr Lisa Roberts, Living Data program leader and Visiting Fellow at the University of Technology,Sydney, you’ll have a chance to take part in ground-breaking art and science talks, see dramatic climate-inspired dance and hear primal music.

Dr Roberts is a multimedia visual artist whose work combines scientific and sensory knowledge of climate change. Her formal studies include dance, visual arts, animation, Indigenous perspectives and Antarctic perceptions. Lisa Roberts is the great grand daughter of the prominent Australian painter Tom Roberts.

Living Data program for the 2013 Ultimo Science Festival, Sydney, September 12-21.

What do we know about climate change and how are we responding to it?

There’s a lot of talk about the need for collaboration between cultures, disciplines and institutions, to develop a sustainable future, but not a lot of time to build trust to share the data, stories, hypotheses and images to inspire and enable action for change. For the 2013 Ultimo Science Festival, scientists, artists and designers come to Sydney from as far away as Antarctica to contribute what they know about climate change and how they are responding to it.

Contributors: Kirralee Baker, Jennifer Clark, Martina Doblin, Christina Evans, Paul Flecther, William Gladstone, Peter Jones, Rose McGreevy, Madison Haywood, So Kawaguchi, Eveline Kolijn, Anthony Larkum, Carina Lee, Andrea Leigh, Brad Miller, Caterina Mocciola, Steve Nicol, Simon Pockley, Antonia Posada, Vikki Quill, Daniel Ramp, Lisa Roberts, Juanita Sherwood, Melissa Smith, Paul Sutton, Takuya Suzuki, Leanne Thompson, Dean Walsh, Shona Wilson, Josh Wodak, Malou Zuidema

EXHIBITIONS

Living Data: Art from climate science The Muse, Ultimo TAFE, Harris Street Ultimo (opposite ABC Studios)
Sex in the sea Living Data Atrium level 3, Building 4 (Science), University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)

9-5pm Monday-Sunday, 12-21 September 2013

Curator: Lisa Roberts,Artist, Living Data program leader, Visiting Fellow, Science, Design, Arts & Social Sciences (UTS)
Shadow curator: Paul Sutton, Photographer, Associate lecturer in Design (UTS)
Exhibition designer: John Cabello, Designer, Lecturer in Design (UTS)

EVENTS

Food: Relationships with things we eat

At The Muse 12-21 September 2013 – Opening, Thursday 12 Sept. 4-6 pm

  • Professor William GladstoneHead, School of the Environment, Science (UTS) leads a Discussion with:
  • Professor Juanita Sherwood Indigenous Australian scholar from the Transforming Cultures Research Centre, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (UTS)
  • Dr Steve NicolAdjunct Professor at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and an Honorary Fellow at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania
  • Dr So KawaguchiPrincipal Research Scientist at the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) and Manager of the AAD Krill Research Program.
  • Dr Daniel Ramp,Senior Lecturer, School of the Environment, Science (UTS) and Co-founder of THINKK – the think tank for kangaroos, an academic forum that fosters greater understanding among Australians of kangaroos

How we know things: Understanding through art and science

Forum, Sunday 15th Sept. 2-3pm

Presentations and Discussions

 

Data for action: How we act on what we count, weigh and measure

Forum, Wed 18th. Sept. 6-7pm

  • Dr Simon Pockley, Designer, Activist and former Business Analyst for the Australian National Data Service (ANDS)
  • Dr. Martina Doblin, Senior Research Fellow and Kirralee Baker, PhD candidate, both C3 (UTS)
  • Brad Miller,Researcher and Design Senior Lecturer at the The College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales
  • Dr Josh Wodak,Artist, Researcher, Creative Director 350.org Australia

Superhero Clubhouse in Denmark and NYC: Don’t Be Sad, Flying Ace! & Field Trip: A Climate Cabaret

Don’t be Sad, Flying Ace

uqze_FlyingAceeblast

Perched on the roof of his small house, armed only with a typewriter and a rare imagination, a dog attempts to adapt after a calamitous storm that left him stranded and floating far away from home.  Inspired by Charles Shultz’ iconic beagle and incorporating leading climate science, Don’t Be Sad, Flying Ace! is a multi-disciplinary duet exploring how people respond in the face of extreme climatic events.

Created by Jeremy Pickard, Simón Adinia Hanukai and Jonathan Camuzeaux in collaboration with scientists from Columbia University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

September 4-6 at the world-renowned Odin Teatret in Holstebro, Denmark

Oct/Nov in NYC, as part of Marfa Dialogues NY

Field Trip: A Climate Cabaret

uqze_FieldTripeblast

A musical adventure celebrating the value of collaboration and revealing science as a creative and intrepid process. Set in a wilderness camp where seven seven extraordinary women of climate science have gathered to share ideas, Field Trip features original songs, dance and poetry that together offer a uniquely hopeful view of our changing world.

As one of 18 lucky recipients of a grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/Marfa Dialogues NY*, and in partnership with Columbia University’s Earth Institute/PositiveFeedback, we’ll be presenting a double feature in NYC this fall:

Act I Don’t Be Sad, Flying Ace!

Act II Field Trip: A Climate Cabaret

A Song of Our Warming Planet

This post comes from Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

Daniel Crawford; photo clip from A Song of Our Warming Planet

Daniel Crawford; photo clip from A Song of Our Warming Planet

Sometimes the arts can turn a cold set of data into a vivid experience. A remarkable example of this is how University of Minnesota undergrad Daniel Crawford uses his cello to communicate climate science through music. Crawford based his composition, A Song of Our Warming Planet, on surface temperature data from the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies. Each note represents a year from 1880 to 2012, with low notes assigned to relatively cool years and high notes to relatively warm years. The result is a haunting musical representation of the state of our planet, and a glimpse at where it is heading. I promise after listening to the piece, you will never be able to forget that temperature graph ever again.

Several articles have  written about the project. If you’re interested in Crawford’s process, make sure to look at Climate Progress and ensia.

Filed under: Music 

Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Conference “Cultural Dimensions of Climate Change and the Environment in North America”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

The Conference will take place at the  Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) in Essen, Germany (June 28-29 , 2012)

Climate change is an inherently global problem. However, climate change impacts as well as mitigation efforts are always perceived and dealt with locally and in a culture-specific way. Global warming interacts in multiple ways with North American ecological and social systems. On the one hand, the U.S. and Canada belong to the world’s largest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases. On the other hand, the Arctic north of the continent as well as the Deep South is already heavily affected by a changing climate. Despite the US’s and recently also Canada’s rejection of international binding climate targets, on the local and regional level, some of the world’s most ambitious climate initiatives can be found in North America.

Striking about the symbolic representation of climate change in the USA is a relatively huge cultural variety. While in Europe climate change deniers are largely marginalized and without influence on mainstream politics, American views on climate change and the environment become increasingly polarized according to political beliefs. And whereas the U.S. hosts some of the world’s leading climate science institutions, religious explanations of why global warming is or is not happening, repeatedly have found supporters in media and politics, too.

How can these contradictions be explained? The participants will deal with these questions in the course of the conference that focuses on the human dimensions and cultural representations of climate change and the environment in North America.

You can read the program here.

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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.

“Civil resistance”, science and ethics

We are in for a season of civil disobedience. The Save Vestas campaign has gone national.Kingsnorth rumbles on, as does the Heathrow protest – which is likely to be the focus of the next Climate Camp at the end of August. Next month also sees Wales‘  and Scotland’s first Climate Camps. As COP15 focusses minds, there are even plans to disrupt the Copenhagen meeting.

A generation of jobless students will now swell numbers. But should those less used to participating in civil action also be getting stuck in?

In a recent newsletter [PDF 147KB], climate scientist/activist James Hansen concludes with a short section titled “Civil Resistance: Is the Sundance Kid a Criminal?”, suggesting the urgent need for what Gandhi called “civil resistance” rather than “civil disobedience”, especially directed towards companies who are guilty of passing the bill for carbon clean up to future generations. Even though his choice of gun-slinging Western hero rather shows which era he’s coming from, I guess he’s qualified to talk, because James Hansen himself was arrested alongside Daryl Hannah last month for his part in the West Virginia coal mining protests.

The excellent climate science blogger Jo Abbess has just raised his arrest in a post which argues that such action by scientists is vital because, as George Marshall of the New Scientisthas been saying, the public as a whole are not changing their behaviour in the way that those scientists know they should be .

This argument implies that scientists, as the people who really understand the bottom line, are now ethically bound to start to do more than produce data. They must join with scientists like Hansen. But if scientists remain hesitant to get start linking arms and chaining themselves to fences, Hansen’s own reputation as a leading climate scientist is an example of why. The man warned Congress back in 1988 about the perils of global warming has been under assault ever since he turned activist. Despite his role as a leading scientist and head of the NASA Gordon Institute for Space Studies, his name has been dragged through the mud by global warming sceptics. His arrest last month prompted the New York Times headline “Does NASA’s James Hansen Still Matter?”

What are the responsibilities of those who know to act? And what are the consequences if they do?

“Well done ThWART” photo by darrangange

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Wake up freak out: movie that makes sense of the science

Caleb Klaces writes: The London-based philosophy fanzine Shoppinghour has been putting on monthly Evenings of Delight at The Candid Arts space in Angel, London, since the start of the year. April’s theme was Environmental Surrealism, explained in part by Mika Ebbesen in the event’s introduction with the good question, “what can we look to when we are tired at looking at ourselves?”

Seven videos, a sculpture and a live VJ performance provided some answers. In an evening of welcome, if patchy, experiment (including a speaking vagina, and the Chicago skyline judderingly filmed to a soundtrack of Walter Benjamin), two films stood out. Amanda Wasielewski’s Supervision: Wawina, MN cuts together old and contemporary footage of the lush, nondescript town of Wawina to the sound of elegiac messages recorded onto an answerphone in June 2006, just before it became the last place in continental America to switch from an analogue to a digital phone system. The messages are left by “phreaks”, phone hackers from all over America, for whom Wawina was the last hackable oasis.

The excellent short animation Wake Up, Freak Out – Then Get a Grip also looks simultaneously at “ourselves” and outside of us. Climate science is abstract and difficult at the best of times, so making ‘feedback loops’ – the way current changes in climate affect how the climate will change in the future – understandable and entertaining is tough. If it doesn’t make complete sense the first time around, Leo Murray’s ambitious and important film is intelligent and stylish enough to be an enjoyable watch several times over.

Wake Up, Freak Out – then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo.

Caleb Klaces is a poet,and founder and Editor-in-chief of www.likestarlings.com, a website which pairs up established and new poets to create new poetic conversations. He reviewed Marcel Theroux’s Far North recently for RSA Arst & Ecology.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology