Last night I attended this panel at ICP, part of the educational programming with the exhibition ECOTOPIA: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video (on view through January 7, 2007. Moderated by ICP Curator Brian Wallis, panelists included artist/author Clifford Ross, Andrew Revkin of the NY Times, Sanjayan Muttulingam, Lead Scientist, The Nature Conservancy. The dialogue was facinating, the realities of the state of our world frightening. The message was clear – not only can each of us make a difference, but artists can help make delivery of this message to the masses a reality, encouraging artists to collaborate with the scientific community. The creative community can make a great contribution by helping scientists express facts “artfully.” Andrew cited as an example – artists can envision the concept of challenging concept of extinction, which will speak more loudly to the public than facts and figures. One artist using photography to do just this is Stephen Harrison and his forthcoming multi-faceted traveling exhibition experience “Planet Earth.” Stephen travels the globe to capture the elements which then are dramatic and expertly crafted composite photographs, serving as visual representations for project components “Origins,” “Life” and finally the “Impact of Man.” The images are stunning and the message essential.
As Sanjayan concluded last night, we as individuals and as a society are fundamental to shaping the destiny of the planet. Our children will be trapped if we don’t. And our parents didn’t know of the problems ahead. It is our time, it is our turn. Act responsibly, spend responsibly, invest responsibly in the future.