ARCHIVED: "Strategies Of Visibility: Arts Of Environmental Resistance" Colloquium Series

A series of four lectures this spring at Sarah Lawrence College on the theme of "Strategies of Visibility: The Arts of Environmental Resistance" will explore the efforts of artists, activists, ethnographers and engineers to make visible environmental poisons, toxins, and issues that remain hidden or inaccessible to normal sensory perception. Speakers will include Mierle Ukeles, Phung Boi, Joseph Masco and Cornelia Hesse-Honegger. For more information, please call (914) 395-2412.

The 2006-2007 Environmental Studies/Science, Technology and Society Colloquium Series was organized by Charles Zerner, holder of the Barbara B. and Bertram J. Cohn Professorship in Environmental Studies. The goal of the colloquium, he said, is to question, “how concerned artists, choreographers, writers, scientists and groups of lay persons, organized in local, national, as well as transnational non-governmental networks, create strategies of visibility — forms of mediation that embody and render accessible to the senses the environmental substances and radiation that cross ecological boundaries and penetrate human bodies.”

The series will begin on Wednesday, February 28, with Artist-in-Residence for the New York City Department of Sanitation Mierle Ukeles’ talk "Waste and Redemption," at 12:30 p.m. in Titsworth Lecture Hall. Her work includes The Social Mirror, a twelve-ton, twenty-eight foot long New York City Sanitation Truck reconfigured with mirrored glass panels. The reflecting truck is a metaphor for the interrelationships between “us” whose images get caught in the mirror and “those” who collect our garbage.

On Tuesday, March 27, Vietnamese engineer, formerly with the Ministry of Forestry of the People’s Republic of Vietnam, Phung Boi, will speak on three decades of research he conducted on the epidemiological and ecological effects of Agent Orange spraying, also at 12:30 p.m. in Titsworth Lecture Hall.

The next lecture, given by Dr. Joseph Masco, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, entitled "Bad Weather: On Planetary Crisis," will take place on Friday, April 6 in Titsworth Lecture Hall at 12:30 p.m. Professor Masco is the author of the recent book, "Nuclear Borderlands: The Manhattan Project in Post-cold War New Mexico” (Princeton University Press 2006), which explores how the end of the Cold War challenged concepts of security and risk for the diverse communities working in and neighboring Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The series concludes on Wednesday, April 18th, with Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, a Swiss zoological illustrator whose watercolor paintings of mutated insects have been exhibited throughout Europe as well as America. Since the catastrophe of Chernobyl in 1986, she has collected, studied and painted morphologically disturbed insects, which she finds in the fallout areas of Chernobyl as well as near nuclear installations. Her talk, entitled “Insects, Beauty, and Mutation: Making the Effects of Radiation Visible,” will be delivered at 7:00 p.m. in Titsworth Lecture Hall.

The Environmental Studies/Science, Technology and Society Colloquium Series is supported by the Barbara B. And Bertram J. Cohn Professorship in Environmental Studies, the Marilyn Simpson Trust, the Visual Studies Program, the Natural Sciences Program, the Joan H. Marks Program in Human Genetics and the Health Advocacy Program.