This panel discussion brings together artists, conservationists, and activists to discuss how the recovery of wildlife and ecosystems can support global objectives for biodiversity, climate, and people. It will explore the role of large mammals in triggering the recovery of ecosystems around the world, the impact of reforestation in urban areas, and the ways art can engage living ecosystems and invite viewers to participate in the protection of the natural world.
Participants include artist Doug Aitken, who explores environmental conditions through photography, sculpture, multichannel video, sound, and immersive installation; Karl Burkart, Deputy Director of One Earth and formerly the Director of Media, Science & Technology at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation; Elise Van Middelem, a Creative Brand Strategist and founder of SUGi, which is a global network that creates ultra-dense biodiverse forests; and biologist Carly Vynne, whose innovations in ecosystem mapping has led to the preservation of species all over the world. The panel is moderated by independent curator Temple Shipley.
Museum hours will be extended until 6:30pm. Please come early to enjoy the museum before the panel begins.
Doug Aitken is an artist whose work explores every medium; from sculpture, film and installations to architectural interventions. His films often explore the modern condition, and his installations create immersive cinematic experiences. He has collaborated with numerous artists and musicians and his artwork has been exhibited in hundreds of museums and galleries around the world. The sleepwalkers exhibition at MoMA in 2007 covered the museum’s exterior walls with moving-image projections. In 2012 SONG 1 wrapped the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC with a 360-degree panoramic video projections. Mirage, a site-specific sculpture that takes the form of a home completely covered in mirrors and set in the heart of the Californian desert was installed in 2017. It has also been installed in Detroit, MI (2018) and in Gstaad, Switzerland (2019-2021). In July 2019 he launched New Horizon, a multifaceted art event challenging the notion of art in the 21st-century. The project was composed of a series of live events across the state of Massachusetts, centered around a stunning reflective hot air balloon and gondola. In 2022, a large scale survey of his artwork was featured in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.
Karl Burkart is the Deputy Director of One Earth, and formerly the Director of Media, Science & Technology at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. One Earth supports academic institutions and NGOs working on the cutting edge of climate and energy science, biodiversity mapping, and sustainable food systems. Through grantmaking and development capacity, the program is particularly focused on scaling innovative applications in big data, remote sensing, and artificial intelligence to accelerate land and ocean conservation efforts. Karl also oversees production and distribution of content across One Earth’s website and social media properties, along with award-winning initiatives such as We Love the Earth and the Global Safety Net, which was just named a "World Changing Idea" by Fast Company. Karl is co-author of “A Global Deal for Nature: Guiding Principles, Milestones, and Targets”, a groundbreaking paper published in Science Advances in 2019 that sets out the evidence base for an ambitious conservation agenda.
Elise Van Middelem is a Creative Brand Strategist with 16+ years of experience developing large scale interdisciplinary projects; from conception through execution. It was during a trek in Upper Mustang that the idea of SUGi was born. SUGi is the union of her two passions, Art & Nature, under one purpose: to empower anyone anywhere in the world to become a biodiversity builder.
Carly Vynne is the Director of RESOLVE’s Biodiversity and Climate Team, which designs and catalyzes innovative solutions to conserve nature. In her role, Carly provides science support for global biodiversity research and conservation projects, oversees the Quick Response Fund for Nature, and works with local communities to support land planning. She has led a number of field-based wildlife studies, including a six-year study of maned wolves, giant anteaters, and jaguar of the Cerrado grasslands. Recently, Carly co-founded TerrAdapt, a dynamic, spatial decision support tool for land managers. Carly holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College and a PhD in Biology from the University of Washington.
Temple Shipley is a curator of private collections of contemporary art and advises collectors on sustainable collection practices. She serves on the board of Sweet Pass Sculpture Park, an artist-run exhibition space situated in the endangered Texas Blackland Prairie. She has served on the curatorial teams at the Dallas Museum of Art and Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Architecture & Design. She earned her B.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago.
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.