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Making sense of climate change through art

Three artists and a curator explore the connection between art and the environment.

I composite image of the four speakers with microphones in their hands

Artist RYAN! Feddersen, sound artist Judy Twedt, curator Barbara Matilsky, and conceptual artist Chris Jordan. (Sarah Hoffman/Crosscut)

Climate change is impacting our planet, and it's also impacting us — our emotions, our psychology and our worldview. And now, it's a concept that artists and curators are tackling, too. The art they create and select helps translate and explore some of these impacts and underscores the connection between art and the environment. For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we invited four artists and curators to discuss the work they do and the role they play in a climate-changing world. Taking part in the talk are mixed-media installation artist RYAN! Feddersen, art historian and curator Barbara Matilsky, sound artist Judy Twedt and conceptual artist Chris Jordan. During the panel's conversation, we displayed some of the art work under discussion. Some of that work is included below.

Chris Jordan’s ‘Midway: Message from the Gyre,’ featuring a A bird carcass containing pieces of plastic
An image from Chris Jordan’s ‘Midway: Message from the Gyre’ photographic project. (Courtesy of the artist)

 

A person dragging a canvas across a pristine valley
Seattle artist Margie Livingston makes environmental art literal, by dragging canvases across various landscapes. Pictured here, Day Hike: Lake 22 (Snohomish and Puget Sound territories),’ performance view. (Becs Richards)

 

Sculptures of extinct Dodo birds
‘Les Gris Gris #3, Mauritius,’ by artist Harri Kallio, features sculptures of the extinct dodo bird sited and photographed in its natural habitat. The image was featured in Barbara Matilsky’s exhibit ‘Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity’ at the Whatcom Museum in 2018.
A whale’s hed
Chris Jordan’s ‘Whale’ (2011), composed of 50,000 blue and white plastic bags and based on a photograph by Bryant Austin. (Courtesy of the artist)

 

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Making sense of climate change through art

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