Artists Climate Change Discussion
“The Art/Science Nexus of Climate Change"
A Virtual Artist Discussion Panel
November 17, 2022 at 5 p.m. central time
The event, “The Art/Science Nexus of Climate Change”, is a virtual panel discussion among contemporary artists hosted by the O’Kane Gallery, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, and the College of Sciences & Technology at University of Houston-Downtown. Artist-scientist Suzette Mouchaty, Adjunct Lecturer in UHD’s Department of Natural Sciences, will engage an international panel of artists in a discussion on how their art practices engage the topic of climate change, and panelists will explore ideas, expectations, and aspirations for transformative artwork and art practices.
Panelists include the Seattle-based photographer Chris Jordan, Swiss multimedia artist Katja Loher, Australian animator and documentary film maker Dan Monceaux, and the Houston-based interdisciplinary artist John G. Reed.
Art at the intersection of science can encourage people to reflect on the natural world, and through artwork and dialogue, Mouchaty hopes to inspire people to re-imagine the future as societies grapple with the looming existential issue facing humanity today—climate change. Because Earth’s changing climate threatens ecosystems all around the globe, the future of human civilization is in danger. Art is irrational and poetic, and it broadens our perceptions – it has the capacity to reach our emotional intelligence. Art at the intersection of science can inspire people to imagine the social change needed to protect and restore ecosystems that are essential for our wellbeing and even our very survival.
The event is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, and the University of Houston-Downtown. Earlier this year, Mouchaty received a $2,500 Let Creativity Happen Digital grant from the Houston Arts Alliance.
About the Artists
Chris Jordan is a photographic artist, filmmaker, cultural activist, and art educator.
He is best known for his hard-hitting artworks that face the darkness of consumer
mass-culture, including his projects titled
Running the Numbers,Midway, and
Intolerable Beauty. His paradigm-breaking film Albatross (2017) continues to reach audiences around the world with a heart-opening story of
birds on a remote island in the Pacific whose bodies are filled with plastic. Beauty
Emerging is a new set of photographic projects that explore directly the subtle beauty
of the living world. In addition to his artworks, Chris is a sought-after public speaker,
available to address audiences of all types and ages with his multi-layered message
of hope, beauty, and love for our times.
Chris Jordan website
Swiss-born multi-media artist Katja Loher presents her works as organic sculptural
forms, or Videosculptures. Loher’s nearly seamless fusion of the technological with
the organic reflects the digital world of magic she creates. Each piece addresses
ecological urgencies, such as the plight of pollinators, abuses of technology, and
the future of humanity, while simultaneously drawing attention to the intrinsic beauty
of the life sus¬taining processes that support our planet.
Katja Loher website
Dan Monceaux is an independent documentary filmmaker and artist based in Adelaide,
Australia. His artistic work, which integrates science and art, focuses on environmental
and sociopolitical issues. He is also engaged in projects that employ citizen science
to identify and document changes in biodiversity over time. Monceaux’s first feature-length
documentary film, 'Cuttlefish Country' is currently in post-production. Dan Monceaux
John G. Reed
John Reed works at the intersection of the Arts, Education, Technology, and Science, with a focus on environmentalism. With the understanding that any action that transcends “self-interest” is inherently community oriented, he has created classes and programs that explore creativity as a catalyst for positive social change within the community, often working with community organizations. As part of a Fulbright Research Fellowship in 2011–12, he began developing international programs in sustainability that integrate the Arts, Humanities, and Technology. His artistic output is diverse, ranging from large-sculptures and public works to experimental music and musical instruments. Utilizing the tools and language of one discipline to problem-solve in another, his work creates a “logical parallax” that helps reveal the structure of the dominant discourse. Current projects include an herbivorous intifada, explorations into “musical construction tools,” and a device for substituting metaphors for physics.
About the Moderator - Suzette Mouchaty
Suzette Mouchaty is an artist-scientist who lives and works in Houston, TX. Her artistic
practice blends formal structures of rational scientific thought with the imaginary
and subversive artistic realm. She has an MFA degree from University of Houston School
of Art in Interdisciplinary Practices and Emerging Forms (IPEF) and a Ph.D. in Genetics
from Lund University in Sweden.
Suzette Mouchaty website
About the University of Houston-Downtown O’Kane Gallery
The Harry W. O'Kane Gallery, established in 1970, was made possible by gifts from Harry W. O'Kane, Mary W. Bingman, and the Humphreys Foundation. The O’Kane Gallery presents five to six exhibitions that meet the diverse interests of students, faculty, and staff of the University of Houston-Downtown. Exhibitions in all media provide educational support to various university courses and to nearby schools. The gallery also functions as a site for university forums, meetings and receptions. Exhibitions are free and open to the public.
About University of Houston-Downtown
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 64,000 alumni and offers 46 bachelor’s, 11 master’s degree programs and 17 fully online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business; College of Humanities & Social Sciences; College of Public Service; and College of Sciences & Technology.
For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.