Inspire Speakers Series: Environmental Health, Art and Activism
October 3 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
Join GBA and the Office of Public Art in welcoming world-renowned artist Mel Chin and Pittsburgh-based Ginger Brooks Takahashi to discuss the role of art in activism and environmental health.
Working in public advocacy can seem contrary to artists’ individual identities, but our speakers will discuss how creative originality can respond to the needs of greater society. Mel Chin will present his continuing history of public projects including his historic Revival Field, the persistent engagement of Fundred Project, and bringing the poignant message of a Greenlandic subsistence hunter to Paris in L’Arctique est Paris. He will also discuss the importance of public access in the TWO ME installation and a new green community instigation: Frontier of the Future for the 5th Ward of Houston Texas. Ginger Brooks Takashi will add her practice of socially enraged art, elucidating her work in Greater Pittsburgh and beyond.
Mel Chin is a Houston born artist known for collaborative works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas. Chin insinuates art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. He developed Revival Field (1989-ongoing), a pioneering project in green remediation, using plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil. Chin also promotes “works of art” that benefit science more broadly, as in the recent Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project, an attempt to make New Orleans a lead-safe city. Chin’s work was documented in the popular PBS program Art of the 21st Century, and he has received numerous awards from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Matters, Creative Capital, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Ginger Brooks Takahashi’s collaborative project-based, socially enraged practice is an extension of feminist spaces and queer inquiry, actively building community and nurturing alternative forms of information distribution. She is co-founder of queer and feminist journal LTTR; the MOBILIVRE BOOKMOBILE project; the touring musical act MEN; and General Sisters. She has presented work at the Oakland Museum of California, the Jewish Museum, Tensta Konsthall, the Brooklyn Museum, Museo Tamayo, the New Museum, 2009, and the Serpentine Gallery. She received her BA from Oberlin College and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2007.