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Environmental Art Lecture Series - Marisha Farnsworth

Environmental Art Lecture Series 4
Wed, Mar 4, 2020, 8:45 am to Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 9:59 am
UCSC Art Department i200 (photo classroom)


Ecological Fabrications: Collaborative Art in the Anthropocene

March 4th 8:45am – 10am UCSC Art Department Room i-200


Can art practice provide the site for multispecies collaboration in the development of shared ecologies? Confronted with the outsized impact of human systems on the Earth’s ecology, geology and biosphere, and recognizing that those who are impacted the most by anthropogenic climate change have the least responsibility, this talk explores modes of collaborative art making with people, animals, plants, microbes, and materials. At the core of this art practice is materiality and the exchanges that take place through material transformation: using waste to create mycelial sculptures, harvesting dead trees to create a work that challenges conceptions of fire, using public urinals to feed plants, deploying floating marshes for species displaced by sea-level rise. Straddling social practice and installation art, these material explorations reveal the precarious relationship between humans and our changing ecological and urban environments, highlighting human and non-human entanglements.


Marisha Farnsworth is an artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area whose large-scale public space interventions explore future ecosystems, infrastructural utopias and the social and ecological implications of materiality. She has worked extensively in the Sierra Nevada forests where she harvested 100 dead trees to create the Burning Man Temple in 2017. This year she will be an artist in residency in Japan working with paper made from the bark of shrubs, rather than trees. She received a BFA from The Cooper Union and an MArch from UC Berkeley. Her work has been exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Venice Biennale and is in the collection of the Nevada Museum of Art.