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Director’s Dialogue on Art and Social Change: Climate and Culture

Public Programs

Photos: David Buckland
Director’s Dialogue on Art and Social Change: Climate and Culture
With David Buckland, Lonnie Thompson, Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), Edwina von Gal, Mitch Epstein and Alexis Rockman
Wed, Mar 31, 2010 7 PM
Hear how artists and scientists are working together to call attention to the growing threat of climate change—and to find new and innovative ways of sharing information with the public.

This panel brings together David Buckland of the Cape Farewell project, renowned Ohio State scientist Lonnie Thompson, musician and author Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), landscape designer and activist Edwina von Gal, and photographer Mitch Epstein—all individuals deeply engaged in such work.

Please join us before the program for a reception hosted by President Gordon Gee to welcome our panelists. The reception begins at 5:30 PM in the café.

The Cape Farewell project, which David Buckland founded in 2001, has led seven expeditions of artists and scientists into the high arctic—and one to Peru—to see the effects of climate change firsthand. Past participants in the project include artist/musician Laurie Anderson, artists Antony Gormley and Rachel Whiteread, singer/songwriter Feist, and novelists Ian McEwan and Vikram Seth.

Lonnie Thompson, Distinguished University Professor of geological sciences in the School of Earth Sciences, received the National Medal of Science for his work in documenting millennia of climate change through deep ice core samples and was one of the leading scientific advisers for the documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

Paul D. Miller captured an "acoustic portrait" of a changing continent in Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica, utilizing “field recordings” he made of Antarctic ice forms when he traveled to the continent in December 2007 and January 2008. He describes the piece as about "environment, sound, hip hop, electronic music and what it means to be a composer in the 21st century."

Edwina von Gal went to Panama in 2002 when architect Frank Gehry hired her to design the park land surrounding BioMuseo, a biodiversity museum he was building. She became so interested in the fragile landscape there that she founded a land stewardship program (the Azuero Earth Project) to preserve and restore one of the last remaining dry tropical forests.

Mitch Epstein's What Is American Power project will soon be visible on billboards around Columbus. This project seeks to increase public awareness of the toll that energy production and consumption take on our economy, health, security, quality of life, natural resources, and climate. It also invites viewers to ponder how energy needs and production intersect with issues surrounding such topics as money, war, water, food, human rights, and relief efforts. The project's billboards and posters will be on view in Ohio in April and later this year in New York and Washington, D.C.

Alexis Rockman's environmentally informed projects include Manifest Destiny, a panoramic mural painting that depicts the Brooklyn waterfront as it might appear in 5004, submerged in the rising seas brought about by global warming. (A gigantic reproduction of the mural, which was commissioned by Brooklyn Museum, was on view at the Wexner Center in 2004.)

Director’s Dialogue is made possible in part by a lead endowment gift from an anonymous donor.

Cosponsored by Ohio State’s Byrd Polar Research Center, in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

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