Against Time: Climate Calls from the Ice Archives at the Samek

Arts & Museum Exhibits

January 14, 2020 to March 22, 2020

Samek Art Museum


Against Time: Climate Calls from the Ice Archives
Jan. 14 – March 22

The artists in this exhibition bear witness to human history crashing into geological time. The exhibition features multimedia art by Peggy Weil, Zaria Forman, and Jessica Houston that weaves together science, symbols, and stories of climate change.

Related Events:

Fighting the Clock: A Frank Conversation about the Hot Button Topic of Climate Change
Thursday, March 19, 6 p.m.
Walls Lounge, 2nd Floor, Elaine Langone Center Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

What is climate change, and how is it affecting the planet?  What can the planets ice cores tell us about the future of humanity?  This discussion on the hot button topic of climate change will include Bucknell faculty members Amanda Wooden, and Andrew Stuhl, Penn State faculty member Richard Alley and artist Peggy Weil.  Bucknell University Sustainable Technology Program Director Milton Newberry will moderate.

Curatorial Text:

Against Time: Climate Calls from the Ice Archives

Human-created climate change is one of the existential issues of our time. It is also one of the most politically polarized issues, frustrating the search for collective solutions. Scientists at the heart of climate research have said that more data and facts are not enough to break through the ideological gridlock; that ethical, narrative and artistic perspectives are needed. Artists such as those in this exhibition answer that call and more; they offer the potential to reframe the social debate by pulling it into the realm of aesthetics.

For example, these artists invoke the poles as symbolic sites of climate change. Their work asks us to consider how it changes our thinking when a global issue like climate change is widely represented by exotic and (for many) remote locales like the frozen arctic, Amazonian jungle, and ocean depths. These artists also address our perception of time as relevant to understanding the relationship between climate changes that occur in vast geological time and those taking place in the span of a single human lifetime. Weil’s 88 Cores leads us down through 110,000 years of ice history in a 4-hour video, and Forman similarly collapses the centuries it takes to form a glacier, the weeks it takes to draw that glacier, and the seconds it takes to represent that act in a time-lapse video.

Aesthetics is a tool of classical philosophy that allows us to see things in new ways and to imagine better worlds. What better worlds might these artists help us to envision and – more – to create?







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