Art, Empathy, and Climate Change
Thursday, September 16
12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT
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Free. Registration required.
From extreme, record-breaking high temperatures to deadly flooding, evidence of our warming climate is everywhere. What role can empathy play in combatting climate change? Join a group of scientists, artists, and filmmakers as they discuss why empathy is important for motivating individuals to take action as well as for forming effective interdisciplinary collaborations to address complex issues related to climate change. They will share approaches and tools they use that help create empathy.
For almost 40 years, photographer James Balog (“BAY-log”) has broken new conceptual and artistic ground on one of the most important issues of our era: human modification of nature. An avid mountaineer with a graduate degree in geography and geomorphology, Balog is equally at home on a Himalayan peak or a whitewater river, the African savannah or polar icecaps. He is the founder and president of Earth Vision Institute and Extreme Ice Survey.
Diane Burko is a renowned artist and activist. Her focus on monumental geological phenomena changed in 2006, when her practice relocated at the intersection of art, science, and the environment. The urgent issue of climate change has been her focus ever since. She first explored glacial melt, embarking on expeditions to the three largest ice fields in the world. In 2013, she sailed around Svalbard with artists and then spent four days in Ny-Alesund with scientists on glaciers. In 2014, she returned to the Arctic, exploring Greenland's Ilulissat and Eqi Sermia glaciers. Burko also traveled to the Antarctic Peninsula in 2013 and again in January 2015, after which she flew to El Calafate to discover the Patagonian ice field of Argentina. In 2017, Diane began to turn her attention to the degradation of our oceans, investigating coral reef ecosystems in Hawaii and American Samoa. The Amazon Rainforest is her present focus. The exhibition Diane Burko: Seeing Climate Change is on view at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, D.C., from August 28 through December 12, 2021.
Kiho Kim is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and is the Executive Director of the Center for Teaching, Research, & Learning at American University. His research focuses on understanding how environmental drivers, such as nutrient pollution and climate change, affect the health of coral reefs. His current work documents the impact of development on coastal ecosystem health in support of conservation, protection, or mitigation efforts in the tropical Western Pacific. Professor Kim has contributed to the United Nation’s World Ocean Assessment, participated in working groups examining the ecology of diseases at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and served as an advisor to the Coral Disease Working Group of the World Bank. He completed two terms as a member of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies, a term as an Executive Member of the International Coral Reef Society, and is on the editorial board of the journal Coral Reefs.
Maggie Burnette Stogner is the Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking and a professor of Film and Media Arts at American University. She brings over 30 years of filmmaking experience to the Center and to the classroom. During her nine years at National Geographic, she produced, directed, and wrote numerous documentaries, and was senior producer of the award-winning weekly programs Explorer and Ultimate Explorer. In 2005, she launched Blue Bear Films and directs, produces, and writes documentaries, including "Unbreathable - the Fight For Healthy Air" (2020), "In the Executioner's Shadow" (2018), “Gold Mountain” (2016). She also produces films and immersive media for world-touring cultural exhibitions for National Geographic, the Smithsonian, LucasFilms, and others. Her award-winning work includes two King Tut exhibitions; The Greeks; Real Pirates; Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures; Indiana Jones and Adventure of Archaeology; and Roads of Arabia. She is committed to creating opportunities for experiential learning through high-impact creative production labs that embrace diversity and inclusion. Her work embodies the belief that compelling storytelling and multi-format media have the power to inspire and to be a catalyst for meaningful change. Collaborating with the next generation of media makers is a critical part of this endeavor. Her scholarship explores engagement and impact design in film, immersive, and emerging media with a focus on exploring humanistic storytelling through 21st century media technologies.
D.C. Art Science Evening Rendezvous (DASER) is co-sponsored by Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) and Leonardo, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology. DASER fosters community and discussion around the intersection of art and science. The thoughts and opinions expressed in the DASER events are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the National Academy of Sciences or of Leonardo.
More about LASER Talks:
The Leonardo/ISAST LASERs are a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of the LASERs is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 40 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website.