Pursuing Active Hope in Houston

What does the intersection of art and environmental activism look like? Along with Lina Dib and Tony Day, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University, recently created Fossilized in Houston. Fifteen local artists were commissioned to produce images of species endangered by climate change. These images were then used to create lawn signs and thousands of posters and stickers that are being distributed throughout Houston in a guerilla public art campaign. Each week between March and July 2015, a new species makes its appearance. The goal is “to contribute to an enhanced intellectual and emotional awareness about climate change and the ongoing mass extinction, and hopefully push decision-makers in energy companies, city planners and individual citizens to reconsider collectively destructive yet normative behaviors.” Matthew wrote a great article about why this project matters in the Houston Chronicle. And photos of the lawn signs, posters and stickers in various locations around Houston can be found here. Where did the idea for Fossilized in Houston come from? Distantly,

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Creating a List of Climate Change Plays

Last Updated: April 7, 2019 Where are the climate change plays and who are the playwrights writing them? We are looking to create a comprehensive go-to list so anyone searching for material related to this issue can have this resource available. Below is what we have found so far. What else is out there? Note: This list should by no means be considered an endorsement of the individual plays. It is simply a compilation. Also, in some cases, climate change is featured prominently while in others, it is only a backdrop for the story. 3rd Ring Out – Zoe Svendsen (UK) / immersive theatreA Cool Dip in the Bare Saharan Crick – Kia Corthron (USA)AD2050 – Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti (UK)Arctic Oil – Clare Duffy (UK)Arctic Requiem – Sharmon J. Hilfinger with music by Joan McMillen (USA)As The Globe Warms – Heather Woodbury (USA)As The World Tipped – Wired Aerial Theatre and Without Walls (UK) / aerial theatreBaby – Doppelgangster (UK/Australia)Baked Alaska – Riding Lights (UK)Between Two Waves – Ian Meadows (Australia)Buzz – Benjamin Kunkel (USA)By The Water – Sharyn

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Telling the Climate Change Story

There are many ways to tell the climate change story. It can be told in numbers organized in charts or graphs – the tools preferred by scientists. Or it can be told in a myriad of artistic ways as evidenced by the categories on this blog. For painter and photographer Diane Burko, the climate change story is best told in large-scale images that capture both the majesty of the depicted subject, and the poignancy of its potential demise. Inspired by the science of climate change, Burko’s paintings and photographs invite us to revere what we have, and to understand that despite its magnitude and seemingly unlimited resources, our earth is at risk and requires as much nurturing from us as we do from it. The merging of the aesthetic and the rational in a single experience invites us to confront our own understanding of, and response to, climate change. In the interview below, Burko talks about her two current projects: Politics of Snow and Polar Investigations. For more on these projects, see also this excellent post on the World Policy Institute Blog. You have had

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Teresa Posyniak’s Beautiful Losers

Teresa Posyniak is a painter and sculptor best known for her work with encaustic, using hot beeswax to create rich, sensual surfaces that incorporate textures, drippings, splatters and layers of tinted, glowing colors. She is also an artist exploring climate change issues in Calgary, Alberta – a city that boast over 100 energy companies, mostly in the oil and gas industry. One of the fasted growing economy in Canada, with the tar sands literally in its backyard, Calgary does not play well with those who criticize its economy’s main driver. Yet artists still find a way to make their voices heard. Note: The photos included in this post are studio shots of works in progress that will become part of Beautiful Losers: My Carbon Sink Muses. Each photo is a detail of a much larger installation. There will be at least 9 columns in total. Tree forms will number about a dozen. Bleached Forest will be one much larger piece with many more elements. You’ve provided this blog with a

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On Earth Day 2014: Record the Earth

What can you do to celebrate Earth Day this year that shows your commitment to the well-being of our planet, contributes to scientific research and demonstrate an artistic sensibility to the environment that surrounds you? According to Dr. Bryan Pijanowski, Professor of Landscape Ecology at Purdue University, the answer is: Record the Earth. Through his website, Global Soundscapes, Dr. Pilanowski is calling on people from around the world to record one million soundscapes today. The recordings can be done using their app, Soundscape Recorder, and uploaded onto their server. Using the theory that acoustic signals are the prime marker of the health of our environment, these soundscapes will then be used to assess the dynamics and conditions of our ecosystems. So Happy Earth Day everyone. Now get out there and record! ______________________________ Chantal Bilodeau is a playwright and translator whose work focuses on the intersection of science, policy, art, and climate change. She is the Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle – an organization created to support the writing,

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