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The Role of Art in the Environmental Crisis Symposium

Event Type: 
In Person
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
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Christie’s Education presents a symposium on artists’ response to the environmental crisis. Organized by Dr. Julie Reiss, Program Director, M.A. Modern and Contemporary Art and the Market, Christie’s Education, New York and editor of Art, Theory and Practice in the Anthropocene(Vernon Press, 2018), the symposium will appeal to anyone who wishes to know more about specific ways artists are responding to global climate change and its consequences. 

The day consists of moderated panel discussions which will address the following:

• How does contemporary art communicate information about global climate change and its consequences?
• How can art assist in decision making about climate change?
• What methods, materials and processes are among those being utilized by artists?
• How does the context in which we encounter this work impact our response to it?
• How do we gauge its effectiveness?

This symposium is timely given that art has become an important channel through which people encounter issues related to the environment. Indeed members of the scientific advocacy community also consider contemporary art an effective tool for communication. For several years, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has partnered visual artists with scientists. These joint efforts are needed because the vast repercussions of global climate change are difficult to grasp for most people, and individual artistic responses can make problems and solutions more obvious and comprehensible.

The keynote speaker at the symposium will be artist Mary Miss. Miss has been redefining how art is integrated into the public realm since the early 1970s. She is interested in how artists can play a more central role in addressing the complex issues of our times—making environmental and social sustainability into tangible experiences is a primary goal. 

The program consists of moderated panel discussions primarily with artists. This will be followed by questions from the audience.

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