Global Change: The Dance of Contingencies – Deborah Cornell and Barbara Putnam
January 16, 2015 – March 21, 2015
In their second major exhibition together, Deborah Cornell and Barbara Putnam unite science and art to reveal the interconnected effects of climate change upon the natural world. The artists state: “There is no doubt that climate change is here. How to deal with global warming morally and honestly is a gamble that we now face.”
Cornell’s Games of Chance series juxtaposes images of nature and various gambling devices, reflecting on speculative attitudes and practices toward the environment. Other works examine how nothing exists in isolation, and the repercussions of our actions are more pervasive than people perceive. Putnam’s quilt What If They Had Lived?, as in her other works, addresses the far-reaching impact of humans on the environment. This piece references an actual 2012 event during which the warmest marine temperatures ever recorded caused several species of jellyfish to drift north, reaching the 80th parallel, where they froze on the shore of Svalbard, an archipelago north of Norway.
This exhibition explores ethical, social and environmental currents that arise from human interaction with the environment, and the concern of observing how our actions have thrown entire ecological systems out of balance.