Carbon 14: Climate is Culture
"Four months of cultural engagement visioning the challenge and the possible future, a unique and powerful narrative engagement with what is one of the most pressing issues of our time, climate change."
Carbon 14: Climate is Culture is the inaugural programming coming out of the North American office of Cape Farewell – the Cape Farewell Foundation, based in Toronto. It is a two-year project that began with an intensive workshop on the shores of Lake Ontario in the fall of 2011 and continues with a wide range of programming activities, culminating in a major exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum's (ROM) Centre for Contemporary Culture, a performing arts festival with The Theatre Centre (Toronto), and a rich series of public programs and events.
The Carbon 14 Workshop
In November 2011, on the shores of Lake Ontario, twenty-five North American 'cultural producers'-artists, film makers, poets, writers, musicians, and advertising directors—gathered in Toronto to interrogate eight 'informers' drawn from across the professional spectrum of climate engagement-including climate scientists, economists, new energy technologists, politicians, eco-theologians and social scientists.
The main goals of the Carbon 14 Workshop were to share information and to spur creative exchanges across disciplines and practices about the problem of, and issues related to, climate change. Our hope was that participants would find inspiration and potential collaborative partners for the development of creative projects that would bring the issue of climate change into the cultural foreground, and that these projects would form the basis of an exhibition at the ROM in 2013.
They have triumphed, and we are immensely pleased to present fourteen new collaborative projects.
Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Exhibition
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
October 19, 2013 – February 2, 2014
Curated by David Buckland & Claire L. Sykes
Produced by Cape Farewell Foundation in partnership with ROM Contemporary Culture
Collaborating with scientists and cultural informers in confronting the facts of global climate change, the artists participating in the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition respond to various aspects of the climate challenge in poignant, nuanced, subversive, often humorous, and always passionately human ways. Subjects include explorations of a changing Arctic, the health of oceans, biodiversity and extinction, sustainability and new, clean technologies; and central questions of politics, economics, and ethics.
Featuring projects by:
- David Buckland + Tom Rand
- Mel Chin
- Minerva Cuevas
- Melanie Gilligan + Tom Ackers
- Jaco Ishulutaq
- Zacharias Kunuk + Ian Mauro
- Félix Lajeunesse + Paul Raphaël
- Myfanwy MacLeod + Janna Levitt
- Ian Mauro, Craig Norris, Ben Phillips + Marc Labelle
- Lisa Steele + Kim Tomczak
- Sharon Switzer
- Donald Weber
Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Festival
October 2013 – February 2014
In addition to the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition, we have developed with our various partners, a rich series of public programs, satellite projects and events that are set to unfold throughout our four-month exhibition run.
- A performance series produced in partnership with Toronto's The Theatre Centre, featuring the world premiere of Sea Sick – performed by Alanna Mitchell and adapted from her award-winning book; the Canadian premier of Cynthia Hopkins' multi-media musical performance piece This Clement World; and special musical performances. The series runs January 26 – February 9, 2014 at The Theatre Centre, Toronto.
- The Trial of David Suzuki – a powerful live theatre and public engagement project conceived and produced by Laurie Brown, in partnership with Donnelly Law. The Trial of David Suzuki will be held on November 6, 2013 at the Royal Ontario Museum.
- Public screen-based art projects in partnership with Pattison Onestop, as part of their Art in Transit program, set to unfold on the Toronto Transit System (TTC) subway platform screens, on the Pattison Onestop network of shopping centre screens nation-wide, and on various digital billboards in the city. The first installment of art work in November 2012, featured Ship of Fools: Artist and Climate Change, with work by James Balog, Heather O'Neill, and Shad.
- Public lectures, talks and discussions, including the Carbon 14 Dialogues on topics ranging from the changing Arctic landscape, to the theme "climate is culture" developed in partnership with ROM and the Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program.
- Satellite exhibition and related programming focused on water at THEMUSEUM in Kitchener, Ontario, featuring work by Eamon Mac Mahon in conjunction with Surface Tension: The Future of Water. This exhibition runs September 20, 2013 through January 5, 2014.
Climate is Culture - Four months of cultural engagement visioning the challenge and the possible future, a unique and powerful narrative engagement with what is one of the most pressing issues of our time, climate change.
Download your copy of the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Festival and Exhibition Guide.
Visit the microsite: Carbon 14: Climate is Culture
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Amy Balkin 2007
"As political and cultural awareness of climate change grows, the reading, meaning and value of the Cape Farewell voyages will also develop. I hope to return from the trip with an enhanced understanding of the Arctic as a system, and with an increased ability to speak about the impacts of climate change."