At sundown on Winter Solstice of the hottest year on record, we convene for a collective performance of the work of American artist Amy Balkin: "Reading The Paris Agreement". Although it has been signed by over 100 nations, The Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international agreement that offers #coldCOMFORT in the face current political upheaval and record breaking temperatures in the Polar regions. This event plays on the meaning of the English language phrase "that's cold comfort," as in "that's not very reassuring!" At the same time, we can anticipate a near future in which the timely arrival of winter weather will be greeted with joy and relief. In anticipation of the darkest day of the year, we meet to reflect on the changing cultural significance of the traditional astronomical marker of the beginning of Winter and to confront the capacities and limitations of the bureaucratic infrastructure that is currently responsible for achieving our collective survival.
The cultural spaces into which policy makers intervene are saturated with images and narratives. From works of art and literature, to trends in food and fashion, aesthetic forms, practices and preferences shape the way people comprehend the world. Political theory has long recognized the aesthetic domain as a powerful political force—at once a potential ally and a dangerous antagonist. Likewise, artists must negotiate the political implications of their work, whether by seeking to engage more deeply or to distance artistic values from explicit political aims. In this workshop we engage the arts not merely as a source of entertainment or propaganda, but as a mode of world-making on par with science and politics.
The workshop interrogates new narratives of climate and climate change that are emerging in the context of the arts and transdisciplinary scholarship and considers how creative interventions can unlock new ways of thinking about our relationship to the environment and our political agency within it.
As part of the Frankenstein Bicentennial celebration, on October 28-29th, 2016, a group of authors and scholars will retreat to the experimental town of Arcosanti to stage a modern reenactment of "The Dare" - the famous writing competition that spawned several great works of Gothic literature. Science fiction authors Tobias Buckell, Brenda Cooper, Nancy Kress, Nnedi Okorafor, and Vandana Singh and playwright Emily Mendelsohn will join ASU's Matt Bell, Joey Esrich, Dehlia Hannah and Cynthia Selin to respond to the sceptre of climate change through literary and scholarly writing.
Dressing In a World of Endless Rainfall, by up-and-coming Dutch designer Anne van Galen, explores contemporary fashion’s engagement with the aesthetics and politics of disaster. By deploying a radical environmental scenario to prompt a critical imaginary that addresses the psycho-social aspects of a possible future, van Galen's work invites us to consider: how would living in a constant downpour effect our body language, our notions of humanity and of public space?
The exhibition is a collaboration between A Year Without a Winter and X and Beyond. It is on view from July 2nd to August 13th, with a finissage during Copenhagen Fashion Week.
A Year Without a Winter: A Collective Thought Experiment will be presented to experts on British Romanticism at the first conference commemorating the literary significance of the momentous year of 1816.
‘The year without a summer’, as 1816 was known, was the year in which Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Godwin (later Shelley), Lord Byron, John Polidori and Claire Claremont came together, for the first time, in Geneva. Mary Shelley (nee Godwin) would later relate the circumstances of the creation of her novel in the Preface to the 1831 edition. There, she recalls the intensity of the conversation between the two poets as well as the birth of her own “hideous progeny,” Frankenstein: “Many and long were the conversations between Lord Byron and Shelley, to which I was a devout but nearly silent listener. During one of these, various philosophical doctrines were discussed, and among others the nature of the principle of life, and whether there was any probability of its ever being discovered and communicated.”
This meeting of five creative minds at Lake Geneva in 1816 has been the subject of several films and a recent documentary. To date, however, it has not been the subject of an academic conference. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of this extraordinary summer, the University of Sheffield will celebrate this unique meeting between these Romantic authors. Papers will explore the literary, biographical, scientific and historical readings of the Villa Diodati group.
- Tue, Jan 12, 2016 5:00pm Wed, Jan 13, 2016 5:00pm
We live in the Anthropocene – the Age of Humans. Now that we recognize the global consequences of human activities, we have the opportunity to take responsibility for our power and assume the role of planetary stewards. As the window of opportunity to address climate change through emissions reduction alone comes to a close, there is an urgent need to forge a vision of long-term management of Earth’s systems.
What sort of world do we aspire to inhabit in 50 years? 100 years? 500 years? Which of these worlds are pragmatically possible? And what kinds of social and technological visions are required to design and attain desirable futures?
This workshop – sponsored by the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, School of Earth and Space Exploration, and School for the Future of Innovation in Society – brings together the ASU community to design Climate 3.0.
ASU faculty and research students from all schools and departments are welcome. Participation in the full program is strongly encouraged, as the workshop activities will build upon each other. Refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP here.
January 12, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
● Plenary lecture by Andy Revkin of the New York Times
● Panel discussion with ASU President Michael Crow
● Crowd-sourced timeline of Climate 1.0 and 2.0
January 13, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
● Participatory mapping of climate design trends and uncertainties
● Charting aspirational futures
● Building ASU's strategies for Climate 3.0
Erlanger Zentrum für Literatur und Naturwissenschaft (ELINAS) // Center for Literature and Natural Science, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A Year Without a Winter: Curating a Collective Thought Experiment
Dehlia Hannah, Research Curator/Assistant Research Professor, School of Arts, Media+Engineering, Arizona State University
Abstract: This paper presents a new research and curatorial project that uses historical and literary narrative to reframe contemporary imaginaries of climate change. On the occasion of the bicentennial of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus (1818), the project calls foregrounds the environmental conditions under which this profoundly influential novel was conceived. The year 1816 is remembered as the ‘year without a summer,’ a year in which unseasonal frosts and precipitation swept over much of the northern hemisphere, causing famine, epidemics, political and economic upheaval. Inspired by this atmosphere of sublime terror, Shelley and her companions weathered the storms in playful competition to tell the best horror story—‘the dare,’ as they called it. We now know that the summer of 1816 was the beginning of a three-year episode of global cooling caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora on the Indonesian Island of Sumbawa, on April 10, 1815. The largest volcanic eruption in human history, Tambora caused vast destruction locally and spewed ash and sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere. Circulated around the globe by stratospheric winds, the gases and particulate matter blocked sunlight and disturbed weather patterns for years to come.
This historical episode now inspires Promethian ambitions to cool our rapidly warming planet. We now confront the fearsome prospect of A Year Without a Winter—a future in which the luxury of escaping to sunny beaches for the holidays is transfigured into a nightmare of global seasonal arrhythmia. In recognition of the profound cultural responses to a climate crisis endured by a smaller and less globalized world two centuries ago, A Year Without a Winter takes the years 2016-2018 as a period in which to gather artists, scientists, humanists and policy makes to reflect critically on our past, present and possible climate futures. The project assembles a diverse collection of artists and scholars to inhabit a collective thought experiment—a fictional, yet all too real, scenario of climate change. Against the tendency to aestheticize dramatic extremes and events, the project invites comprehension of the vast scale and incremental pace of environmental violence with the aim of provoking new narratives and exemplary visions for the Anthropocene. This presentation articulates the philosophical motivations and curatorial approach underpinning A Year Without a Winter and describes some of the scholarship, workshops and art exhibitions through which the project will be realized over the next three years through collaborations with institutions worldwide.
Keynote by Emily Talen - "Walkable Diversity in Future Desert Cities"
Respondent: Sally Kitch - "Avoiding Utopianism"
November 19th, 2015 | 5:30 pm | Social Sciences 109
November 20th, 2015 | 9:00 - 5:00 pm | Graduate Hotel
Keynote: Urban planners are now focused on increasing the nation’s supply of pedestrian-based, socially diverse human settlements. This “walkable diversity” encapsulates the merger between social justice and environmental sustainability. Emily Talen (School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning) reviews the state of the pursuit of walkable diversity, including research debates, implementation hurdles, and entrenched conflicts over strategies and priorities.
Symposium: How do we imagine the desert and desert cities? How will desert cities of the future deal with movement, migration, mobility, and transience? What will the desert city of 2050 look like? Join ASU environmental humanists as they grapple with these questions in the heart of a desert metropolis. The symposium will open with a keynote by Emily Talen (School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning) on social justice and environmental sustainability in future desert cities. Symposium panelists include: Miral Mahgoub (SILC), Sha Xin Wei (AME), Paul Hirt (SHPRS), John Meunier (Design), Chad Haines (SHPRS), Duke Reiter (Office of the President), Dave White (School of Community Resources and Development), Dehlia Hannah (AME), Adriene Jenik (Art), and Cynthia Selin (Center for Nanotechnology in Society).