Global Warning Symposium Day 1 of 2

Thursday, September 16, 2010

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LEONARDO/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology will host the first full day of the symposium.  Illuminating LEONARDO’s mission—to confront the critical challenges of the 21st century by creating opportunities for the powerful exchange of ideas among practitioners of art, science and technology—GLOBAL WARNING will encourage cross-disciplinary dialogue, fostering conversations among scientists, artists and policy-makers grappling with some of the key environmental issues of our time.

The morning sessions, highlighting environmental policy, will provide a context for the afternoon’s focus on artistic and scientific environmental practice. The day will start with a high-profile keynote speaker followed by a moderated, thematically focused panel/audience discussion.

Afternoon sessions will provide an overview of the field of activist environmental art, place scientists and artists in conversation with one another, and encourage open dialogue with the audience.

Schedule (subject to modification)
Day 1, Thursday September 16:

9:00-9:45 Welcome and Introduction by Leonardo Team and ZER01 Executive Director Joel Slayton.

9:45-10:45 Keynote Speaker, Dr. Kathleen Dean Moore, Editor/Author; Professor, Oregon State University: Why It’s Wrong to Wreck the World

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-12:00 Gail Wight, Artist; Professor, Stanford University: Landscape Disrupted: Brief History of Artists and the Environment

12:00-1:15 Lunch

1:15-1:50 Dr. Gerard Kuperus,  Dr. Gerard Kuperus, Asst. Professor, USF: Environmental Ethics through Aesthetics

1:50-2:35 Dr. Peter Roopnarine (Curator/Researcher, California Academy of Sciences): Embracing Uncertainty

2:35-2:50 Break

2:50-4:30 Panel Discussion Making a Future: Artists and Scientists on the Environment Moderated by Meredith Tromble (Artist/Author; SFAI Faculty) and featuring: Dr. Karen Holl (Researcher/Professor, UCSC): Conserving Tropical Forests to Reduce Global Warming, Marisa Jahn (Artist/Author/Activist): Wormholes as Solutions: Art and Social Change, Tiffany Holmes (Artist; Associate Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Beyond Eco-Art: 21st-Century Eco-Visualization, Dr. Peter Roopnarine (Curator/Researcher, California Academy of Sciences): Marine Food Webs and the Environment

4:45 Shamanic Cheerleaders Performance

5:00 End Program

6:00 01SJ 2010 Opening Ceremonies


Thursday, September 16, 2010
Hosted by Leonardo/ISAST; Co-organized by Patricia Bentson, Tami Spector and Marcia Tanner

The first day of the symposium will encourage cross-disciplinary dialogue, fostering conversations among scientists, artists and policy-makers grappling with some of the key environmental issues of our time. The program for Day 1 of the symposium includes a keynote speech by noted author Kathleen Dean Moore, an overview of environmental activist artists by Gail Wight, a talk on environmental philosophy by Dr. Gerard Kuperus, a discussion of climate change issues and public outreach by Dr. Peter Roopnarine, and a lively artist-scientist dialogue featuring Dr. Karen Holl, Marisa Jahn, Dr. Peter Roopnarine, Tiffany Holmes with moderator Meredith Tromble.


Kathleen Dean Moore (Editor/Author; Professor, Oregon State University)
Why It’s Wrong to Wreck the World

Climate disruption and environmental despoilation are moral challenges, not simply economic or scientific/technological issues. They call us to honor obligations of integrity, justice and compassion – obligations we owe to present generations and to the endangered future. Only if we fully acknowledge what we have done, and fully affirm what we most deeply value, will we make decisions that are worthy of us as moral beings.

Kathleen Dean Moore is co-editor of the newly released MORAL GROUND: Moral Action for a Planet in Peril, a call from moral leaders around the world to honor our responsibilities to the future. Her recent books include Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature; Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World; Riverwalking: Reflections on Moving Water; and The Pine Island Paradox, which explores an ecological ethic of care. Moore is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University, where she teaches environmental ethics. She is the founding director of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word in Corvallis, Oregon.

Gail Wight (Artist; Professor, Stanford University)
Landscape Disrupted: Brief History of Artists and the Environment

Gail Wight provides a brief history of contemporary artists tackling environmental issues, a look at what a post-industrial landscape portraiture might be at this point in time, and a discussion of the larger surroundings in which these artists work.

Artist Gail Wight investigates issues of biology and the history of science and technology. Wight uses her art to wrestle with the ways in which scientific theories, procedures and conventions shape our interactions with the world around us, and playfully investigates our constant redefinition of self. Her works of art take the form of interactive sculpture, video, print and performative art, often involving other living organisms. Recent projects have focused on the topics of deep time and evolution. Wight holds an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute where she was a Javits Fellow, and a BFA from the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts College of Art. Wight has exhibited her work internationally and teaches in Art Practice at Stanford University.

Dr. Gerard Kuperus (Asst. Professor, USF)
Environmental Ethics through Aesthetics

American writers such as Emerson and Thoreau established that nature allowed us the opportunity to find oneself in nature whereas society leads to loss. Others, such as Nietzsche, have argued that nature itself is chaos and that we accordingly should not want to return to some kind of natural state. This latter perception seems to make an environmental ethics impossible: without any order an ethical order is lacking as well. The main thesis of this discussion is that we can find ourselves in nature – even if it is without order – through aesthetic experiences. The question is then posed: can such aesthetic experiences provide a basis for environmental ethics?

Dr. Gerard Kuperus is Assistant Professor in Philosophy as well as Environmental Studies at the University of San Francisco. He has published in different areas of the history of philosophy, aesthetics and animal rights. In his research he is interested in the way in which we understand ourselves in relationship to nature and how such an understanding can possibly form a foundation for ethics. He is currently working on an edited volume on nature, Ontology of Nature, Continental Readings of Nature (Springer). This volume explores how our Western conception of nature has changed during the last 2,500 years and how different conceptions demand different ethical approaches. At USF Kuperus teaches courses on the human animal, environmental ethics, aesthetics, existentialism, and nineteenth-century philosophy. He is also a member of the USF Green Team, an advisory board that aims at a sustainable campus.

Meredith Tromble (Artist/Author; SFAI Faculty)
Panel Moderator: Making a Future: Artists and Scientists on the Environment

Meredith Tromble is an artist and writer working at the intersections of art and science. She creates performance/interventions revealing psychological aspects of sustainability. Her writing practice began as a regular artist/commentator for KQED’s “West Coast Weekend”; she has published in magazines ranging from Foundations of Chemistry to Artweek and Aspect, and the University of California Press published her book on Lynn Hershman. Tromble is a noted speaker at venues such as the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Tate Britain in London, and she serves as a board member of Leonardo/ISAST. She is faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute and holds an MFA from Mills College.

Marisa Jahn (Artist/Author/Activist)
Wormholes as Solutions: Art as Social Change

Through examples drawing from socially-engaged practices, Marisa Jahn furthers the notion that by “going in through the back door,” or by carving out wormholes, art can dismantles usual inhibitions and solve larger structural problems. In her talk, Jahn will discuss recent projects that involve engine-block cooking, coloring books and one Bibliobandido.

Marisa Jahn is an artist/writer/curator/activist who co-founded of REV- (, a non-profit organization that fosters socially engaged art, design and pedagogy. Her work has been presented at the MIT Museum; ICA Philadelphia; ISEA/Zero One; Eyebeam; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Asian Art Museum. Jahn received a BA from UC Berkeley (2000), a MS from MIT’s Department of Architecture (2008), and has received awards and recognition from Franklin Furnace, UNESCO and CEC Artslink. Jahn works with various grassroots advocacy organizations such as I-Witness Video, NYC Park Advocates, and Street Vendor Project, She is the current Director of Architecture at Art Omi ( Jahn’s work has been featured in international media including Art in America, LA Times, Frieze, Punk Planet, San Francisco Chronicle, Make Magazine, Metropolis, the Discovery Channel, NPR, and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. See

Tiffany Holmes (Artist, Associate Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
Beyond Eco-Art: 21st-Century Eco-visualization

Eco-visualizations—artworks that translate ecological data into easy-to-understand images and sound—expand the trajectory and scope of the environmental art arena. Eco-visualization artwork is often interdisciplinary and promotes sustainability through a shared experience of a real time happening that is controlled by a computer or associated electronic technology.

Tiffany Holmes explores the potential of technology to promote environmental stewardship. Recent projects include darkSky, an interactive installation that creatively visualizes energy loads at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and solarCircus, a kinetic sculpture and workshop series that both profile creative uses for hacked solar toys.She is an Associate Professor of Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she teaches courses in computer programming for artists, interaction design, eco-art, and the history and theory of electronic media.

Dr. Karen Holl (Researcher/Professor, UCSC)
Conserving Tropical Forests to Reduce Global Warning

Dr. Holl will briefly discuss the role that tropical forest clearing plays in carbon emissions. She will then discuss efforts to conserve and restore tropical forests, which help to conserve biodiversity and slow global warming.

Dr. Karen Holl is a Professor of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. She received her BS in Biology from Stanford University, completed her Ph.D. in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and did a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. Her research focuses on understanding how local and landscape scale processes affect ecosystem recovery from human disturbance and using this information to restore damaged ecosystems. She has studied restoration ecology in a range of ecosystems, including tropical rain forests, eastern hardwood forests, and chaparral, grassland and riparian systems in California. She advises numerous public and private agencies on land management and restoration. At UCSC she co-directs the Center for Tropical, Research on Ecology, Agriculture, and Development and works to further efforts to conserve tropical forest, in part by training students from Latin American countries. In 2008 she was selected as an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow and is committed to communicating with policy makers and the public. She teaches courses in restoration ecology, conservation biology, and environmental problem solving, and chairs the Environmental Studies Department Curriculum Committee. She is on the editorial board for Restoration Ecology and is the associated editor for the Island Press-Society for Ecological Restoration book series.

Dr. Peter Roopnarine (Curator/Researcher, California Academy of Sciences)
Embracing Uncertainty / Marine Food Webs and the Environment

Dr. Roopnarine is giving two talks in the program. His first talk will focus on climate change issues: There are three sources of uncertainty in science: things that we don’t know, things that we do not understand, and things that cannot be known. These uncertainties complicate attempts to understand and confront the climate crisis, and yet they also present hope for the future. His second talk, as part of the panel discussion, focuses on his research: the effects of pollution and environmental threats on marine life, including a project that involves tracking the long-term impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Peter Roopnarine studied biology at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, where he developed an interest in marine systems and ecology. He received a B.Sc. in 1984, and then his MS in Ocean Sciences at Nova University Oceanographic Center in 1988. Graduate work on molluscs lead to a developing interest in paleontology, so he went on to receive a Ph.D. in Geology from UC Davis in 1994. After Davis, he held an Assistant Professorship in Biology at Southeast Missouri State University for 3 years, then moved to the University of Arizona as a research associate. Roopnarine moved to San Francisco in 1999 to join the California Academy of Sciences as the Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology and Geology. His research interests include biological extinction, extinction dynamics in complex ecological systems, and molluscan evolutionary ecology and systematics.

Joel Slayton (ZER01 Executive Director)

Joel Slayton took the helm of ZER01 in June of 2008 after serving as both a board member for the organization and chairperson of ISEA2006, which was held in conjunction with the inaugural 01SJ Biennial. An artist, writer and researcher, Slayton is a full tenured professor at San Jose State University where he is Director of the CADRE Laboratory for New Media, an interdisciplinary academic program in the School of Art and Design dedicated to the development of experimental applications involving information technology and art. From 1998-2007 Slayton was also president and founder of C5 Corporation, a hybrid form of authorship intersecting research, corporate culture and artistic enterprise. C5 research explores issues of visualization involving large data sets and social networks. Considered a pioneer in the field of art and technology, Slayton creates artworks that engage with a wide range of media technology, including information mapping, networks and interactive visualization. Slayton’s works have been featured in over one hundred exhibitions internationally.

Tami I. Spector (USF Professor; Leonardo Board Member)

Tami I. Spector received her B.A. from Bard College, her Ph.D. from Dartmouth College, and was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota. She is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of San Francisco, where she also serves as department chair. Trained as a physical organic chemist, her scientific work has focused on fluorocarbons, strained ring organics, and the molecular dynamics and free energy calculations of biomolecules. She has also published and presented work on molecular aesthetics, the visual image of chemistry, the intersections of chemistry and contemporary visual art, and nanoaesthetics, and served as a guest editor for HYLE: International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry and Foundations of Chemistry. She is on the board of Leonardo/ISAST, chairs the Leonardo Scientists Working Group, and serves as the co-editor of an on-going special section on Art, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology for the journal Leonardo.

Marcia Tanner (Curator; Writer; Art Appraiser; Leonardo Board Member)

Marcia Tanner is an independent curator, writer, art appraiser and adviser focusing on artists working with science and technology. Former PR Director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and former Executive Director of the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Tanner most recently organized We Interrupt Your Program at Mills College Art Museum in 2008. Her previous exhibitions include Brides of Frankenstein at the San Jose Museum of Art (2005), Bad Girls West, UCLA Wight Art Gallery (1994), as well as shows at other venues. She has served on the boards of several nonprofit arts organizations and currently is a member of the Board of Directors of LEONARDO/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology.

Patricia Bentson (Associate Director of Leonardo/ISAST)

Patricia Bentson is Associate Director of Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. She has worked in print and online media and publishing for more than 20 years and in nonprofit administration for more than 10 years. Two of the many hats she wears at Leonardo include her roles as Managing Editor of Leonardo Music Journal, an annual publication devoted to contemporary music and the sonic arts, and managing editor of the website Leonardo On-Line at Bentson studied environmental design and photojournalism, earning a B.S. at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Combining her fascination with ideas and images, she has worked for various clients as a scriptwriter, editor and photographer. She has a particular interest in the work of artists, scientists and policy makers who engage the public and inspire action.

The Shamanic Cheerleaders

The Shamanic Cheerleaders are a Bay Area-based performance group dedicated to bringing spirit while delivering multi-dimensional entertainment wherever they go. Their intention is to deliver a powerful message of all-inclusive consciousness through playful levity. They raise awareness about environmental/social issues and current events through a variety of cheerleading skills, including dance, acrobatics, spoken word, song, cheer and music.

Leonardo/ISAST gratefully acknowledges support for Day 1 of the GLOBAL WARNING Symposium provided by:

City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs, Barbara Goldstein, Public Art Director
University of San Francisco, Dean’s Office of Arts and Sciences
USF College of Arts and Sciences, Philosophy Dept, Jeffrey Paris, Chair
USF College of Arts and Sciences, Environmental Science Dept, William L. Karney, Chair
USF College of Arts and Sciences, Art & Architecture Dept, Stuart McKee, Chair
Journal of Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press
Calit2, A UCSD/UCI Partnership
Berkeley Center for New Media
Rachel Crawford
Marcia Tanner