The urgency of climate change means it is not sufficient for environmental scholarship to describe our complex relationship to the natural world. It must also compel a response. TIMESCALES: THINKING ACROSS ECOLOGICAL TEMPORALITIES gathers scholars from different fields, placing traditional academic essays alongside experimental sections, to promote innovation and collaboration.
This episode asks: Why art? Why art … at all? With climate change and environmental catastrophe looming large, what purpose does art serve in pressing conversations about environmental futures?
Three TIMESCALES contributors are here to answer that question:
-Patricia Eunji Kim, assistant professor/faculty fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Studies and a provost’s postdoctoral fellow at New York University. She serves as an assistant curator at Monument Lab, a public art and history studio. Kim researches and teaches Greco-Roman art and archaeology, with a focus on issues of gender, cultural identity, and empire. Her in-progress monograph examines the art and archaeology of royal women from the Hellenistic world (4th–1st century BCE).
-Kate Farquhar is a Philadelphia-based landscape designer at Olin and has worked at the intersection of ecology, infrastructure, and art for fifteen years. Her TIMESCALES chapter focuses on WetLand, an experimental floating lab created from a 45-foot-long salvaged houseboat in 2014 by artist Mary Mattingly. From 2015 to 2016, Farquhar served as program coordinator for events that accompanied its residency with the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) on the Lower Schuylkill River.
-Dr. Marcia Ferguson, a professional actor, director, and educator, has worked as a theatre artist in Philadelphia regional theatre and arts organizations including the Wilma Theatre, Painted Bride Art Center, Act II Playhouse, Irish Heritage, Paper Dolls, the Mediums, Juniper productions, the Daedalus String Quartet, and the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. She has collaborated on seven original productions for Edinburgh and Philadelphia Fringe festivals, and has done theatre and film work in Los Angeles, New York, Rome, and Tokyo. She is senior lecturer in theatre arts at the University of Pennsylvania and has published two books and several articles on theatre. Her TIMESCALES chapter focuses on Pig Iron’s work in progress “A Period of Animate Existence,” the subject of a discussion Ferguson moderated at the 2016 PPEH conference. Director Dan Rothenberg, composer Troy Herion, and set designer Mimi Lien were the 2016-17 artists in residence at PPEH.
This conversation was recorded in November 2020. This is the third and final podcast episode in a series that has featured the book’s three coeditors: Kim; Bethany Wiggin, director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities; and Carolyn Fornoff, assistant professor of Latin American culture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
A Period of Animate Existence: https://www.pigiron.org/productions/period-animate-existence
MORE TIMESCALES PODCAST EPISODES:
-Ep. 14: Time and the interplay between human history and planetary history. With Carolyn Fornoff, Jen Telesca, Wai Chee Dimock, and Charles Tung: https://soundcloud.com/user-760891605/episode-14
-Ep. 12: Scientists and humanists talk timescales and climate change. With Bethany Wiggin, Frankie Pavia, Jason Bell, and Jane Dmochowski: https://soundcloud.com/user-760891605/episode-12
What is University of Minnesota Press?
Authors join peers, scholars, and friends in conversation. Topics include environment, humanities, race, social justice, cultural studies, art, literature and literary criticism, media studies, sociology, anthropology, grief and loss, mental health, and more.