SPRING 2016 Events
Friday, February 12, 1:45-3PM, Benson Auditorium, Pitzer College
Friday, February 12, 3:15-4:15 PM, Leaving from Scott Hall Lobby, Pitzer College (Please wear closed toe shoes).
Curated by Bill Anthes and Ciara Ennis
Pitzer College Art Galleries
January 23 – March 31, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 23, 3-5 p.m.
Environmental scientists have begun to refer to our current era as the anthropocene, a new geological epoch in which human activities have become the primary shapers of the earth’s environment and ecological systems, producing climate change, mass extinctions of non-human species and other significant transformations on a global scale. Whether these changes are reversible is uncertain.
On a smaller scale—such as we can observe in our neighborhoods, cities and local landscapes—anthropogenic change gives rise to surprising and unanticipated interactions among species. Mark Dion, Jessica Rath and Dana Sherwood explore these transformations and transactions in the shifting ecotomes—or contact zones between human and non-human worlds—in the multifaceted works included in The Ocelots of Foothill Boulevard.
Brownfield sites and other highly polluted zones, thought incapable of yielding anything at all, have become flourishing habitats for exotic or so-called “invasive” species. Vacant office building, dead shopping malls and decommissioned military installations have become host to new flora and fauna—they are emergent “second nature” habitats in which productive interconnected multi-species communities flourish. One such site exhibiting these unforeseen interactions is the ruin of a historic infirmary, located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains in northeastern Los Angeles County. Built in the 1930s, it functioned for many years as a health facility for students of The Claremont Colleges. Ravaged by fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters, the infirmary was condemned and abandoned by the early 1970s. A recovering landscape, the building and the parcel of land in which it sits is today host to non-native grasses, Coast Live Oaks and a diverse community of biota—mammalian, avian, insect and amphibian—as well as researchers and students who have made their homes and laboratories in and around the shuttered building.
Taking the multi-species habitat of the infirmary as a reference point, Dion, Rath and Sherwood have excavated the shared non-human and human histories that have populated the area during the past 80 years. In addition to this local site, the artists have extended their forensic gaze to other “second nature” habitats of a terrestrial as well as an aquatic nature. Traversing time and temperate zones, these explorations, while acknowledging the deleterious effects of humans on earth, also signal the unintended value that habitat conversions and co-species habitations can have in the anthropocene.
The Ocelots of Foothill Boulevard is generously supported by art+environment, a four-year project at Pitzer College funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College.
FALL 2015 Events
FMI contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Yes Men Are Revolting, film screening
Tuesday October 6th, 11am Benson Auditorium
The Yes Men and Laura Nix, in person
Thursday October 8th, 11am Benson Auditorium
Notorius mischief-makers the Yes Men (Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno) are an activist duo known for their outrageous interventions at business events, on the internet, television, and in the streets. Armed with nothing but thrift store suits, the Yes Men impersonate big-time corporate evildoers in order to draw attention to their crimes against humanity and the environment, helping to raise awareness and build public pressure for change. These irreverent tactics (“identity correction”) have a proven track record of hijacking the public dialogue worldwide about the issues of the day – free trade, global capitalism, and now the end of a livable planet, and have called out such heavyweights as the World Trade Organization, Dow Chemical. Exxon Mobil, and Halliburton, as documented in previous award-winning films, The Yes Men and The Yes Men Fix The World. Now, The Yes Men Are Revolting adds to their hit list some of the biggest climate criminals, hilariously targeting such planet-plundering entities as Shell Oil, Gazprom Oil, and the US Chamber of Commerce. As a result of their two decades of work, the Yes Men have discovered that tackling hard-boiled issues with huge dollops of laughter is a powerful tool for change, and now they want everyone to get involved in the fight
Laura Nix recently directed THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2014, and the Berlinale 2015. Previously she directed and produced the documentary THE LIGHT IN HER EYES about a Syrian Quran school for women that premiered at IDFA, and was broadcast on the series POV on PBS. Her other feature directing credits include the fiction feature THE POLITICS OF FUR, which played in over 70 festivals internationally, and won multiple awards including the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest, and the feature documentary WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT: THE STORY OF HEDWIG, for New Line Cinema. Her work has received support from the Bertha Foundation, BritDoc, Cal Humanities, COBO Fund, the Danish Film Institute, and the Sundance Documentary Fund. Based in Los Angeles, she’s currently developing a documentary feature about ballroom dancers in the suburban Chinese community of San Gabriel Valley, California.
This event is brought to you by The Intercollegiate Media Studies Visiting Artist Lecture Series at Pitzer College, the Pitzer First Year Seminar Program, The Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability, and the Environmental Analysis Field Group.
Update on the Conservancy Planning Process
Wednesday, September 30, 12-1PM and 5-6PM, Avery 201, Pitzer College
September 18, 2015 6:30 pm, Shanahan Center 1430, HMC Campus
Containment by Peter Galison and Robb Moss: A Documentary Screening on Nuclear Waste, Science, and Secrecy