From November 11-14, I was at Orpheus Island (Goolboddi) Research Station to participate in Reef Ecologic’s Reef Restoration and Leadership Workshop. During the four days, we snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef, learned how to make coral nurseries, and engaged with each other’s expertise. I was with marine biologists, rangers, and agritech experts from Queensland and the Torres Strait.

The Great Barrier Reef and the rest of our oceans are a great source of artistic inspiration and needs all of us to care because of increasing climate impacts. I can’t wait for the projects that will come out of me after this.

Thank you to Reef Ecologic’s Adam Smith, Jo Stacey, Nathan Cook and your amazing staff and interns, as well as my fellow participants whose love for the oceans is very inspiring. This was one of the tightest ships I’ve been on and I’ve learned so much in the past few days!

Just came back from a week in the south coast of New South Wales in Australia with the class I am auditing in UNSW, Indigenous Knowledge Partnerships on Conservation and Caring for Country. I tagged along with a group of Master of Environmental Management students, which was very inspiring.

On Day 1, Uncle Noel taught us about fire regimes and cultural burning in Triplarina Nature Reserve and Sussex Inlet. The next day, Auntie Lynne Thomas took us to the amazing Gulaga National Park on an epic rainy bushwalk. On Day 3, Uncle Graham took us around beautiful Tathra Headland National Park followed by places in Bournda National Park. Finally, Uncle Bruce Pascoe, author of Dark Emu, spoke to us about Aboriginal agriculture and his farm.

It was wonderful to have been on this trip and a relief I returned just in time to Sydney for this. Thank you, Professor Dan Robinson and your epic class!

Copenhagen

I’m participating in The Curatorial Thing of SixtyEight Art Institute in Copenhagen. Register for the free public program here: https://madmimi.com/p/7b97a41 (I’m speaking on Day 4)

Text and image by SixtyEight Art Institute:

THE CURATORIAL THING (5th Edition)
Announcing our Public Programme for ‘Audacious Landscapes’ 
Organised by SixtyEight Art Institute
1 – 8 October, 2022
SixtyEight Art Institute is pleased to announce the schedule for public lecture events of our upcoming curatorial intensive programme, The Curatorial Thing, organised under the Audacious Landscapes theme and framework. This week-long gathering will explore SixtyEight Art Institute’s research on climate art histories to critical discussions of future imaginaries in a warming world and incorporate critical approaches on climate grief and regenerative thinking through art, architecture, and design.The 1-8 October 2022 meeting period will be shaped by workshops between participants and invited speakers, site and studio visits, and lecture-based events open to the general public. These public lectures will take place at The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen. All lectures will be available (physically) to the public for free and seats are open on a first-come, first-served basis. The Curatorial Thing will also be streamed (virtually) for a nominal fee for anyone interested in following our programme.
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SixtyEight Art Institute is hosting all the public lecture events online for the upcoming edition of The Curatorial Thing. You can choose individual days or the entire week-long sequence. See the links below to register and access our event streaming options.
One-day registration
Week-long registration
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Saturday, 1. October 
13.30 – 15.30 Public Lecture Programme 
Critical Visions in a Warming World 
The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen Gothersgade 140.Anne Haaning, visual artist and Research Fellow, The Norwegian Artistic Research Programme, NO/UK/DK.KEYNOTE: T.J. Demos, art historian and cultural critic, Professor in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, at University of California, Santa Cruz, US.
17.30 to 19.30 Installation Opening 
Anne Louise BlicherGrief Shrine 
Part of the Climate Thanatology project 
Sharp Projects Gallery, 
Blegdamsvej 38.

Monday, 3. October 
17.00 – 21.00 Interactive Shadow Theatre 
Part of the Climate Thanatology project 
LiteraturHaus, Møllegade 7 
(Three 40-minute performances, advance registration is required).The Bird Ladies 
HenBlakstad Productions in co-production with Animalske Productions(NO), silo portem, sound art duo (UK), Catharine DeLong, harpist (US).Three performances of 40 min., limited to 20 people for each performance.Starting at 17.00; 18.30; and 20.00. All performances are free of charge.Please follow this LINK to register for The Bird Ladies.

– –Tuesday, 4. October 
18.00 – 21.00 Public Lecture Programme 
Climate and Cultural Art Histories 
The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen Gothersgade 140.Mathilde Helnæs, curator, Sorø Kunstmuseum (DK).Luamba Muinga, curator, cultural researcher, writer (AO).KEYNOTE: Andri Snær Magnason, writer and documentary filmmaker, author of On Time and Water (IS).

– –Wednesday, 5. October 
18.00 – 21.00 Public Lecture Programme 
Image and Media in Climate Communication 
The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen Gothersgade 140.Catherine Sarah Young, artist, Manila/Sydney (AU/PH).Jørgen Bruhn, intermediality and ecocriticism specialist, Professor of Comparative Literature, Linnaeus University (SE).KEYNOTE: Diedrich Diederichsen, writer and cultural critic, Professor of Theory, Practice, and Communication of Contemporary Art, Institute for Art History and Cultural Studies, Vienna (AT).– –Thursday, 6. October 
18.00 – 20.00 BOOK LAUNCH 
Climate Thanatology by Heidi Hart 
Published by Really Simple Syndication Press 
SORTE FIRKANT (Blågårdsgade 29, 2200 Copenhagen) 

– –Friday, 7. October 
18.00 – 21.00 Public Lecture Programme 
Engaging with Place: Ruin, Memory, Regeneration 
The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen Gothersgade 140.Maddie Leach, artist/Senior Lecturer in Fine Arts, University of Gothenburg (SE/NZ).Ash Sanders, climate writer and activist (US).KEYNOTE: Darren Parry, former chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, author and founder, Boa Ogoi Cultural Interpretive Center (US).

– –Saturday, 8. October 
12.30 – 15.30 Public Lecture Programme 
Regenerative Architectures in Climate Art History Perspective 
The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen Gothersgade 140.Ariana Kalliga, independent curator, New York and Athens (GR/UK).Angela YT Chan, researcher, curator, and artist (UK).KEYNOTE: Beatriz Colomina, architecture historian and theorist, Howard Crosby Butler Professor of the History of Architecture, Princeton University (US).

For a full list of BIOS follow this LINK
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ABOUT OUR FIFTH EDITION OF THE CURATORIAL THINGThe Curatorial Thing is our annual intensive programme for curators, artists, researchers, and the public, from 1 – 8 October 2022. Using the Nordic notion of a ‘thing’ – an old concept for a meeting place, an assembly of the community, or as the precursor of the modern term ‘parliament’ – we have invited 18 individuals or groups of artists, designers, and curators for a series of day-long closed workshops. In addition, we are organising a lecture programme for the general public that will feature leading figures operating in and outside the Nordic Region. This year’s edition of The Curatorial Thing will build on SixtyEight’s ongoing exhibition programme, Memoirs of Saturn, which envisions potentials for prosperity in a warming world.We have chosen the title AUDACIOUS LANDSCAPES, from a 1938 poem by Muriel Rukeyser on witnessing an industrial landscape with “clouds over every town” that “indicate the stored destruction,” foreshadowing our own time. As this carbon buildup has led to global climate crises, curatorial practices have become a form of witness. In developing The Curatorial Thing, we read “audacious” as a paradox of capitalist hubris and the risk of imagining better possible afterlives. Using this paradox as a starting point, we consider “landscape” beyond framed artworks in museums, as art objects take on new roles in the public sphere.Our twofold goal is to move participants’ thinking from art histories of grief to imaginative proto-histories of thriving, especially in profoundly changed ecosystems, and to move critical inquiry from a modernising to an ecologising mindset. We aim to find a triad of contextual histories, climate narratives, and innovative spatial-natural theories that can enable us to foster a new climate art history. Therefore, the workshops and keynote lectures of this meeting will not only focus on the aftermath of climate-related art histories to aid us in thinking forward but will also explore climate grief as a moving bio-physical space to seed new and active imaginations. To this end, we want to investigate how art can inspire larger-scale solutions for a warming world and, at the same time, find the historical lineages that can give us both the hermeneutic and contemporary tools to sustain critical spaces, such as those that can nurture and support these new imaginations.The Fifth Edition of The Curatorial Thing is organised/curated by Heidi Hartand Hugo Hopping for SixtyEight Art Institute and is made possible with the generous support of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Hosting partners in Copenhagen are LiteraturHausThe Faculty Library of Social Sciences at University of CopenhagenStatens Værksteder for Kunst, and Assistens Kirkegård.
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SixtyEight Art Institute is an artistic/curatorial research organisation looking to uncover, develop, and further exchanges between artists and curators and their creative labour. See our current exhibition The Late Shop on view from 9 September to 14 October 2022. This exhibition is part of our two-year programme of exhibitions, Memoirs of Saturn, which is kindly supported by the Danish Arts FoundationDet Obelske FamiliefondBeckett-Fonden and Københavns Kommune Rådet for Visuel Kunst.

Earth/Mars, was exhibited at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt for #Commonings, the final edition of The New Alphabet. In this art installation, cyanotypes of the deserts of Central Australia are juxtaposed with those of open-source Mars images by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. These images, normally a deep Prussian blue, are toned with various experimental botanical inks. Side by side, these dry landscapes, both contested lands, may function as a good starting point to think through existing settler-colonial violence and regimes on Earth such as with Palestine, the Philippines and many others. The challenges of getting to space in human history went from an international space race to a more individualized one by billionaires, increasing discourse on inequality and catastrophe on Earth. Thinking of Planet B may help to clarify the intentions and goals with Planet A. Can the collective challenges faced on Mars lead people to find or seek out common ground that has been missing on Earth?

Many thanks to the curators, Olga Schubert, Gigi Argyropoulou, Alessandra Pomarico, Mahmoud Al-Shaer and Rahul Gudipudi as well as the HKW staff Savannah Turner, Elisabeth Krämer, Amaya Gallegos, Franziska Morlok, Christine Andersen, and Lucas Gentzsch.

Thank you as well for technical assistance back in Sydney, the UNSW Making Centre and UNSW Design Futures Lab!

More about the program here: https://hkw.de/en/programm/projekte/2019/new_alphabet_school/programm_146547/commonings.php

SIlkeborg, Denmark—It was fun to speak at KunstCentret Silkeborg Bad for their artist seminar in conjunction with their exhibition Ether, which features works with Scandinavian artists. I spoke about my petrichor-related works in the past two years. Thanks for having me!

Great to speak at Art & Market’s Landing 2022 conference about art and climate change, featuring past and recent work. Thank you for having me!

Here is the synthesis of the conversation by Art & Market’s Ian Tee:

Key points: 

  • Artists innovate by creating new imagery that spark curiosity. 
  • Collaboration is enriching, especially for research-driven projects.
  • While global warming is a universal phenomenon, the impact of climate change varies from one locality to the next.
  • Rather than having the right answers, it is more important to be open to change as information changes over time.

For the second event of LANDING 2022, Vivyan Yeo, Content Producer at Art & Market, spoke to artist Catherine Sarah Young. Their conversation touched on various approaches towards engaging with the issue of climate change and sustainability in the arts.

Here are the takeaways from the discussion: 

Artists innovate by creating new imagery that spark curiosity. This causes people to do a “double take” and pay attention to pertinent issues. In fact, audiences who tuned in commented on the arresting quality of her artist portraits taken as part of individual projects. One example is her ‘The Sewer Soaperie’ (2016) which highlights the problem of flooding caused by coagulated grease in sewer systems. For this work, the artist made luxury soaps out of oils collected from different parts of the sewer system. She says, “What artists do with these emotional hooks is to get people to notice and change their behaviours”. Art is a powerful asset as it speaks to people as human beings and helps us relate to each other. 

Collaboration is enriching, especially for research-driven projects. Catherine believes that art and science are two sides of the same coin, and her multidisciplinary outlook is partly shaped by her undergraduate education in molecular biology and biotechnology. She appreciates the specificity her scientist collaborators work with. While projects can benefit from partnerships with experts from all walks of life, Catherine advises artists to be mindful of not taking others’ time for granted. It also helps to have a professional portfolio available online, be upfront with one’s request, and have a large pool of prospective collaborators to choose from.

While global warming is a universal phenomenon, the impact of climate change varies from one locality to the next. Therefore, it is crucial to adapt one’s artistic response to the local issues experienced by audiences. Catherine cites her project ‘Climate Change Couture’ (2013) which speculates on what one would wear in a future under climate change. It has been presented in Singapore, Manila, Colombia and San Francisco. In every iteration, the collection reflects the city’s unique environmental scenario and climate projections. It also reimagines the vernacular fashion as a way of acknowledging the cultural specificities of each locale. 

Rather than having the right answers, it is more important to be open to change as information changes over time. In a world of misinformation and tribalism, Catherine hopes that her projects are situations where discourse can happen in a respectful way. In her workshops with children and adults, she observed the urgent need for intergenerational exchange on topics such as climate change anxiety. As we strive to make better choices each day, the major shift is to move away from a throw-away culture towards a sustaining culture.

Watch the video on YouTube or listen to the recording on SoundCloud here.

Stoked to be published in an article in Singapore-based magazine CHECK-IN, an annual publication by Art & Market that serves as a mid-year review of developments, shifts and trends in the Southeast Asian art scene. Featuring first-hand accounts, dialogues, observations and analyses, it is an inclusive anthology of voices from the region. Thank you!

Get your copy here: https://www.artandmarket.net/checkin-2022

I’m honoured and grateful to receive this award for the Environment courtesy of The Asian Network and ERIA: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia. Congratulations to my fellow awardees and hat tip to my fellow Obama Leaders Vivian Lim and Sherry Soon! Come join us this Thursday May 19th! (Link in IG story)

Text and image by The Asian Network:

In partnership with ERIA: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia & The Asian Network, we are welcoming you for our first virtual Leaders by Head and Heart Award Ceremony 2022. It recognizes 9 outstanding individuals and organizations in Asia that have made major contributions to their communities and countries.
Date : Thursday 19th of May,2022
Time : 7pm to 8 pm (Singapore Time)
Registration link : https://www.runtheworld.today/app/c/leadersbyheadandheart
Timeline:
Introduction by Mr Ravindra Ngo 赖文卓 , Founder & CEO of The Asian Network.
Opening remarks of Mrs Antonella Noya, OECD Head of the Social Economy and Innovation Unit.

Awardees List:
1. Emilie Pradichitchit (social justice) – Thailand
2. Vivian Lim (gender equality) – Singapore
3. Catherine Sarah Young (environment) – Philippines
4. Dr Darren Chua (disability) – Singapore
5. Dr Skye Kinder (health) – Australia
6. Ali Fayez (peace) – Afghanistan
7. Sherry Soon (invisible disability)- Singapore
8. The-Huy Luong (social justice ) – Vietnam
9.Saijai Liangpunsakul (tech for good) – Thailand

Closing Remarks of Dr.Giulia Ajmone Marsan, Strategic and Partnerships Director ERIA

Stoked to have an interview with Transformations Community, a generative space and a catalyzing force for sustainability research and practice. Check out the interview with me and other artists at www.transformationscommunity.org/art

Interview

The Driving Force Behind My Work?

The years ahead of us are years of repair for the catastrophes that we have wrought, from fossil fuel emissions that lead to the climate emergency, to habitat destruction that lead to disease, to rising inequality worldwide that lead to social unrest. I believe that the arts have a critical role to play in planetary repair. I trained in molecular biology, fine art, and interaction design, and it was during my travels for my art residencies and exhibitions that led me to face the various challenges—and the diversity of these—of which we are all a part of that made me devote my practice to these issues.


Please Talk A Bit About The Process Of Your Work.

I work a lot on environmental issues because I could never unsee them in all the lives I led in all these countries. As an artist, I like working with what I have, and many of my projects are driven by the material that I see, from bushfire ash in Australia to raw sewage in the Philippines to scent in the Amazon. I begin from these materials because these are what I sense, and from there I work out the story of why these materials are important and how might we care about them even though these might seem ordinary and easy to overlook? I like the idea of “the double-take”—how can I get people to pay attention to these issues that they might be numb to because we see them every day? For example, in making soap out of sewage in The Sewer Soaperie, we initially just see soaps. But upon closer inspection, people realize that they are made from sewage and this distresses some people, and then we have the emotional hook. Or for The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store, one might just smell perfumes, but if he realizes that he is smelling scents that we will lose and are already losing because of the climate crisis, then he finds another, more meaningful layer for the work. This layering of meaning is important to me because art speaks to people from all backgrounds. But it is our common humanity that I am hoping to reach, and so I strive to create inclusive spaces by which we can engage with these topics, which are often difficult to grasp and may be even more challenging to discuss with our communities.

 

Where Has Your Work Engaged With Systems Change-Making? 

The materials I work with are outputs of the systems I aim to critique. For example, bushfire ash is a recurring resource I have because of the climate emergency. In The Weighing of the Heart, I cast these ashes into human heart sculptures to make a permanent visual register of the catastrophe, which is often forgotten soon after. In Arctic Ice Chess, I use ice to create the chess pieces and use the melting of these pieces to drive the story. Here, the ice melts to reveal toy soldiers painted with the flags of the countries that have a political stake on the Arctic and its petroleum deposits, as well as countries that are experiencing sea level rise. This illustrates the players in the system and how human behavior—in this case represented by the playing the game and the melting that is dependent on body heat and heat from the players’ discussion on Arctic issues—play a critical role in the system.