On December 7th, 2023 IHOPE (the Integrated History and future Of People on Earth) held its second online seminar from the series Art and Environment. Each Art and Environment seminar features two researchers from different disciplines who come together to discuss their work and methods in relation to specific environmental actors. December’s seminar focused on ice, and an environmental art historian and artist were each invited to speak about their work. The presentations from this seminar have been recorded, and IHOPE is excited to announce that the videos are now available to watch online. Take some time to get inspired by these fascinating presentations.
Dr. Isabelle Gapp is an environmental art historian, as well as one of the editors of NiCHE. NiCHE’s popular Visual Cultures of the Circumpolar North series was edited by Isabelle and Mark A. Cheetham. She is also Interdisciplinary Research Fellow at the Centre for Environment & Biodiversity and Department of Art History at the University of Aberdeen. Her talk for the Ice Seminar was entitled “Ice in Motion and the Performative Arctic Panorama”. Her 2024 forthcoming book from Lund Humphries A Circumpolar Landscape: Art and Environment in Scandinavia and North America, 1890-1930 is highly anticipated and recommended for anyone with interests overlapping with this seminar.
Bjarki Bragason is an artist and head of the Fine Art Department and Associate Professor at Iceland University of the Arts. Bjarki has been working with notions of geological time, as well as ice as a material for more than a decade. His presentation outlined his work with ice as a medium, collaborations with natural scientists, as well as the botanical and geological exploration of the passage of time in his grandparents’ garden in Iceland. The 2018 MIT Press book Weather as Medium: Toward a Meteorological Art is recommended to dive deeper into his work with ice as well as to become familiar with other practitioners working in the space between art and the environment.
Together these presentations demonstrate different methodological approaches that can be applied to consider the transient material of ice across time and the accompanying human perceptions of it. Questions about how we research and interact with a material that is rapidly disappearing and often located in distant locales are raised when considering the work of these two researchers.
In November, IHOPE’s first Art and Environment seminar was held on the topic of trees. If you want to find out how historical patterns of forest fires can be mapped using dendrochronology, how ancient forests can be 3D scanned and printed in porcelain, and what it’s like to visit The University of Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, take a look at our playlist including our previous seminar videos.
Future Art and Environment seminars are currently in the process of being planned. To stay up to date about the next seminars as information becomes available, sign up to our mailing list.
IHOPE (Integrated History and Future of People on Earth) is an international and interdisciplinary community of researchers and research projects that integrate the past of the Earth system and the history of human presence with the goal of a just and sustainable future. IHOPE’s members are located around the world working in a wide range of fields including archaeology, environmental history, and anthropology. In addition to publishing papers IHOPE regularly organizes seminars and events. If you’d like to become a member of IHOPE, more information is available here.
The featured image for this post is the 2014 artwork Perhaps that in which it, by Bjarki Bragason.
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