Shadows Cast on Ephemeral Futures
A Public Art Project with UNM Students
I just installed a public art project that a couple students (Ethan Ward and Victoria Nisoli) and Associate Professor Megan Jacobs and I have been working on for several months.
Cyanograms: Shadows Cast on Ephemeral Futures is a photographic installation that aims to make visible students’ climate grief in a changing world. Drawn from interviews with University of New Mexico students about the climate crisis, students’ responses were transformed into poems detailing their fears and hopes for the future. Paired with images of our local natural and built environments and silhouettes of students, these poems were printed on fabric and hung in the Honors College, facing the patio. They will remain on display during the National Poetry Month, Earth Day, and the UNM Sustainability Expo.
The two poems we made from the interviews are:
Look to the Sandias
look to the Sandias, remember
smelling dirt after monsoon rains
how we seek solace
hope is hard
generations of community
a small island in the middle of the canyon
blue sky consumerism
centuries of harm
everything soft pink
ancient enchantment becomes hellfire
what is community extinction?
heat rising from the ground
bees in the badlands
where will our river go?
centuries to undo harm
juniper, sage, chamisa
we are braided to home
During the sustainability expo at UNM, our team will talk with students about their climate fears. Using turmeric ink, we will have students write down what they were afraid of losing on small slips of scrap paper (once destined for the recycling bin). They will then tie the scraps to a “solastalgia tree” on the Honors College patio. Solastalgia is a neologism describing the distress produced by the contemporary effects of climate change in one's home environment. As turmeric is light sensitive and fades over time, these words, too, faded, creating a visual representation of loss. We hope this will help initiate dialogues on campus about the very real impact of climate change in New Mexico.
April 29 at 2 pm at Books on the Bosque: I will be talking about mindfulness and comics as we embark on an activity in the bookstore.
April 29 at 6 pm at Lizard Tail Brewery in Nob Hill: book release party for Unfiltered: A Cancer Year Diary. Free and open to the public.
May 20: Poets Picnic at the Open Space Center
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