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Art for Earth’s Sake: Art on Screens and its Energy Impact IRL

 Nancy Baker Cahill, Mushroom Cloud NYC / RISE, 2022. Installation view Hudson River, NYC for Tribeca Film Festival.

Art for Earth’s Sake: Art on Screens and its Energy Impact IRL
With Nancy Baker Cahill and Glenn Kaino.
Moderated by Charlotte Kent.

Lecture Environmental Council

Digital light walls and screen-based installations chug energy to maintain their dazzling, kinetic effect. Meanwhile, crypto art, or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) promise a global reach and opportunities for new artistic expression for artists but can generate such a high carbon and human cost that artists are divided on whether to embrace the technology. Can the art world have its carbon cake and eat it? Is the Ethereum Merge a game-changer? Glenn Kaino and Nancy Baker Cahill, two artists testing the potential of web3, will talk with Charlotte Kent, arts writer “with a particular interest in digital culture and the absurd,” about using tech creatively to solve the problems created by tech.

About Art for Earth’s Sake
Artists are increasingly exploring the climate crisis in their work. What about the art world’s contribution to the climate crisis, from its boundless international travel to the growth of energy-intensive art forms and installations? MOCA considers the creative ways in which the art world is addressing its own environmental footprint in Art for Earth’s Sake, a series of five public presentations and panels, taking place in fall, 2022. Invited artists, academics, activists, industry insiders and journalists will explore topics ranging from greening art facilities and art fairs to reckoning with environmental justice. Finally, the program will consider the impact of making the industry more sustainable on artistic expression itself.

About Nancy Baker Cahill
Nancy Baker Cahill is a new media artist who examines systemic power, selfhood, and embodied consciousness through drawing and shared immersive space. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of 4th Wall, a free Augmented Reality (AR) art platform exploring resistance and inclusive creative expression.

Her geolocated AR installations have been exhibited globally and have earned her profiles in the New York Times, Frieze Magazine, and The Art Newspaper, among other publications, and she was included in ARTnews’ list of 2021 'Deciders'. Her work has been exhibited internationally at museums and galleries, including Francisco Carolinum Linz, The Hermitage, The Buk-Seoul Museum of Art (SEMA), Honor Fraser Gallery, and König Gallerie. In 2022, she was one of two featured artists in the Luma Foundation's Elevation 1049 Biennial in Switzerland. Her work was featured in the Immersive Main Competition at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival and on 90+ screens in Times Square for the entire month of July as part of the Midnight Moments program.

Baker Cahill was an artist scholar in the Berggruen Institute’s inaugural Transformations of the Human Fellowship, and a 2021 resident at Oxy Arts’ ‘Encoding Futures,’  focused on AR monuments. She is a TEDx speaker and a member of the Guild of Future Architects. In 2021, she was awarded the Williams College Bicentennial Medal of Honor and received a C.O.L.A. Master Artist Fellowship. She is a 2022 LACMA Art and Tech Grant recipient.

About Glenn Kaino
Glenn Kaino is an artist known internationally for his expansive vision and activist-minded practice, which encompasses painting, sculpture, installation, performance, monumental public art, theatrical production, and feature film.

Examining a wide range of political, social, and environmental issues in his work, Kaino takes a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to art making. His work brings together systems of knowledge, forms of production, and people that do not normally have a chance to connect, and often involves long-term partnerships with a diverse array of visionary collaborators.

Kaino’s work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, New York; Prospect.3, New Orleans, in 2014; and the 12th Biennale de Lyon, France, in 2013. The artist represented the U.S. at the 13th Cairo Biennale in 2013, and has presented solo exhibitions at the MassMoCA, North Adams; the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and elsewhere.

About Charlotte Kent
Charlotte Kent, PhD is the Assistant Professor of Visual Culture at Montclair State University and an arts writer. Her research investigates the social implications of digital culture, writing extensively in the last year about the emergent technology of blockchain. She also engages how contemporary art and speculative design engage the absurd. She writes for academic journals (Leonardo, Word and Image, Journal of Visual Culture, etc) and general audience magazines (Art Review, BOMB, Wired, among others), with a monthly panel and column on Art and Technology for the Brooklyn Rail, where she is also an Editor-at-Large. Prior to academia, she developed education for the eyecare industry and managed an art school located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a graduate of the CUNY Graduate Center, St. John’s College, and Philips Academy Andover and currently lives in New York City.

Art for Earth’s Sake is organized by Frances Anderton and Livia Mandoul.

MOCA’s environmental programming series highlights the museum’s work around climate, conservation, and environmental justice. Guided by the work of the MOCA Environmental Council, the first sustainability council at a major arts museum in the United States, this series presents artists, activists, and scholars committed to critical ecological issues in Los Angeles and globally.

The 2022 series is made possible by Nora McNeely Hurley and Manitou Fund.