[ISEA2011] Panel: Judit Her­sko & Lisa E. Bloom (moderators) – New Environmental Art Practices on Landscapes of the Polar Regions: Politics, Emotion and Culture (FARFIELD 1)

Panel Statement

Chair Per­sons: Judit Her­sko & Lisa E. Bloom
Pre­sen­ters: Jane D. Marsching, Marko Peljhan, Matthew Bie­der­man & Leslie Sharpe

Ques­tions of sub­jec­tiv­ity re­lated to gen­der, race, emo­tion, and per­cep­tion usu­ally do not fac­tor into think­ing about polar cli­mate sci­ence. This panel ex­plores cli­mate change and the en­vi­ron­ment as well as the land­scapes of the polar re­gions and geopol­i­tics in terms of shifts in aware­ness that in­form how we think about, act about, and set pol­icy for deal­ing with these global re­gions. Pol­i­tics, emo­tion and cul­ture are sig­nif­i­cant in­di­ca­tors for un­der­stand­ing the his­tory and pre­sent uses of the Arc­tic and the Antarc­tic, how sci­ence and data gath­ered in these re­gions is per­ceived today, and the re­sult­ing im­pact on prac­ti­cal pol­icy mat­ters re­lated to cli­mate change. This panel is a com­pan­ion panel to Far Field 2 and takes up some of the same is­sues but em­pha­sizes the con­nec­tion to the colo­nial his­to­ries of these re­gions, the tech­no­log­i­cal in­cor­po­ra­tions of tra­di­tional knowl­edge into data, as well as con­tem­po­rary ap­proaches to art about land­scapes that deal with is­sues of pol­i­tics, emo­tion, and cul­ture. The pa­pers dis­cuss con­tem­po­rary art that chal­lenges nor­ma­tive as­sump­tions about art mak­ing-what form it might take, what ef­fects it might have, and how it might in­cor­po­rate as well as be read as data-in ad­di­tion to how it might change our per­cep­tions of the land­scapes of the polar re­gions. Much of the art­work dis­cussed em­bod­ies a re­la­tion­ship to na­ture not as some­thing to be con­quered, trans­formed, or turned to our ad­van­tage, but as a re­la­tional space that makes us think dif­fer­ently about the en­vi­ron­ment, the fos­sil fuel in­dus­try, cap­i­tal­ism and no­tions of ter­ri­tory.

  • Judit Her­sko is an in­stal­la­tion artist who works in the in­ter­sec­tion of art and sci­ence and col­lab­o­rates with sci­en­tists on vi­su­al­iz­ing cli­mate change sci­ence through art. In 2008 she re­ceived the Na­tional Sci­ence Foun­da­tion Antarc­tic Artists and Writ­ers Grant and spent six weeks in Antarc­tica. Her re­cent ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tured by Leonardo Elec­tronic Al­manac (March 2011) builds on her col­lab­o­ra­tion with sci­en­tists and her ex­pe­ri­ence in Antarc­tica. Her in­stal­la­tions have been fea­tured in­ter­na­tion­ally in­clud­ing in Ger­many, Aus­tria, Hun­gary, Spain, and in many cities around the United States in­clud­ing Chicago, New York, Los An­ge­les and San Diego. In 1997 she rep­re­sented her na­tive Hun­gary at the Venice Bi­en­nale. She has re­ceived an Art­slink Col­lab­o­ra­tive Grant, a Cal­i­for­nia Arts Coun­cil Vi­sual Arts Fel­low­ship, and has par­tic­i­pated in res­i­den­cies in­clud­ing the Lucas Artists Res­i­dency Pro­gram. She has sev­eral pieces in mu­seum col­lec­tions- for ex­am­ple in The Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art, Lud­wig Mu­seum in Bu­dapest. Her work has been the sub­ject of many pub­li­ca­tions in­clud­ing ar­ti­cles in Sculp­ture Mag­a­zine and Art in Amer­ica. Her piece Pages from the Book of the Un­known Ex­plorer is forth­com­ing in Far Fields: Dig­i­tal Cul­ture, Cli­mate Change, and the Poles, 2011, edited by An­drea Polli and Jane Marsching. Her­sko is an As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor in the Vi­sual and Per­form­ing Arts De­part­ment at Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­sity, San Mar­cos, where she ini­ti­ated the Art and Sci­ence pro­ject in 2004. Her ac­tiv­i­ties in Antarc­tica have led to new and on­go­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions with sci­en­tists, and re­cently she has been in­vited to pre­sent her work in­ter­na­tion­ally at many uni­ver­si­ties, re­search in­sti­tu­tions and con­fer­ences in­clud­ing the Cross­roads in Cul­tural Stud­ies Con­fer­ence in Hong Kong, and the Antarc­tic Vi­sions Con­fer­ence in Ho­bart, Tas­ma­nia, Australia.
  • Lisa E. Bloom‘s in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary re­search and ped­a­gog­i­cal in­ter­ests cut across nu­mer­ous fields in­clud­ing crit­i­cal gen­der stud­ies, vi­sual cul­ture, art his­tory, sci­ence stud­ies, pho­tog­ra­phy, and cul­tural stud­ies. She is the au­thor of Gen­der on Ice: Amer­i­can Ide­olo­gies of Polar Ex­pe­di­tions (Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota Press, 1993), which is the first crit­i­cal book to date on the Arc­tic and Antarc­tic writ­ten from a fem­i­nist per­spec­tive, and an edited an­thol­ogy en­ti­tled With Other Eyes: Look­ing at Race and Gen­der in Vi­sual Cul­ture (Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota Press, 1999) that was also trans­lated into Japan­ese. Her third book,  en­ti­tled Jew­ish Iden­ti­ties in U.S. Fem­i­nist Art: Ghosts of Eth­nic­ity (Rout­ledge, Lon­don, 2006)  ex­plores the place of Jew­ish­ness in fem­i­nist art in the United States. Her more re­cent ar­ti­cles in­clude a re­view of the Is­tan­bul Bi­en­nial 2009 for a British In­ter­na­tional Fem­i­nist Art Jour­nal, n.?paradoxa that was co-writ­ten with Betti-Sue Hertz of the Yerba Buena Cen­ter, and Dis­ap­pear­ing Ice and Miss­ing Data: Vi­sual Cul­ture of the Polar Re­gions and Cli­mate Change, that was co-writ­ten with Elena Glas­berg that will be pub­lished in Far Fields: Dig­i­tal Cul­ture, Cli­mate Change, and the Poles (edited by An­drea Polli and Jane Marsching) forth­com­ing 2011. Lisa E. Bloom’s es­says have ap­peared in The Scholar and the Fem­i­nist, n.?paradoxa, and Con­fig­u­ra­tions; ex­hi­bi­tion cat­a­logues on Isaac Julien and Eleanor Antin, and an­tholo­gies in­clud­ing The Vi­sual Cul­ture Reader, Per­form­ing the Body/Per­form­ing the Text, Jew­ish Iden­tity and Art His­tory, Jews and Sex, Writ­ing Sci­ence, and Every­day eBay, Col­lect­ing and De­sir­ing. She has both an M.F.A. from the Vi­sual Stud­ies Work­shop and Rochester In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (1985) and a Ph. D. from the His­tory of Con­scious­ness Board at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Santa Cruz (1990). She cur­rently teaches in the Vi­sual Arts De­part­ment at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Diego (US). lisabloom.net or lisaebloom.com