Nov 22, 2019 - Nov 23, 2019
A free, full-day interdisciplinary symposium to promote dialog on the interplay of environmentalism, social justice, design, education, and the arts.
Scholars, activists, educators, designers and artists working on environmental justice issues will explore the politics surrounding systemic biases and the ways that environmental degradation and climate change intersect with race, gender, and class to create disproportionate outcomes on both a local and global scale.
The day’s agenda will place art and design at the center of these conversations, investigating how creative practices contribute to community and global struggles for environmental justice.
ALL EVENTS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 511 NW Broadway
Friday November 22:
(Soma)tic Poetry Workshop with CA Conrad 3pm, Room 601
(Soma)tic poetry rituals provide a window into the creative viability of everything around us, initiating an extreme present. With (Soma)tics we will learn how even in crisis we can thrive through poetry, as well as learn to collaborate in unexpected ways with other artistic disciplines. Soon we’ll all agree with Alice Notley saying, “poetry’s so common hardly anyone can find it.”
Keynote Lecture: Macarena Gomez-Barris 6pm, Mediatheque
Macarena Gomez-Barris is a cultural critic, author and Chairperson of Social Science and Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute. She is founder and Director of the Global South Center, a hub for critical inquiry, aesthetic praxis, and experimental forms of social living. Macarena works on cultural memory, race, queer and decolonial theory, and rethinking the anthropocene. She is author of The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives, a book that theorizes social life through five extractive scenes of ruinous capitalism upon Indigenous territories (Duke University Press, 2017). She is also author of Beyond the Pink Tide: Art and Politics in the Américas (UC Press, 2018), Where Memory Dwells: Culture and State Violence in Chile (UC Press, 2009), and co-editor with Herman Gray of Towards a Sociology of a Trace (University of Minnesota Press, 2010). Macarena is author of numerous essays in art catalogues, including work on Laura Aguilar, Julie Mehretu, Cecilia Vicuna, and Carolina Caycedo, as well as essays in numerous peer reviewed journals. She is co-editor with Diana Taylor of Dissenting Acts, a Duke University Press series.
Saturday November 23:
9am Optional Tour of PNCA
10am-10:15 Opening Remarks + Land Acknowledgement by Demian DinéYazhi´
10:15am-11:30am: SESSION ONE: Chaired by Emily Scott, Assistant Professor of Art History and Environmental Studies, University of Oregon
Art and Activism
The topics the panelists will engage cut across artistic practice, critical theory, and political praxis. Panelists will examine how art functions and how artists create art today in the context of environmental crisis, unjust governmental practices, and corporate greed. The artists will be speaking from personal experience with protests, artist residencies, and other forms of artistic and political intervention and practice. The conversation will critique hindrances to our political imagination and explore new pathways forward.
11:30am-12:30pm Participatory Workshop
Art and Environmental Racism
This workshop led by artist, musician, educator, and activist, Anna Vo, seeks to put racial and environmental justice at the forefront of artists’ work through providing a space for reflection on artists’ intentions, goals, and missions. This workshop will ask participants to examine their current, or yet-to-exist work while engaging with a racial and environmental justice lens.
Anna Vo is the diversity, equity, and inclusion Manager at Impact NW. They have worked as a radical educator for eight years in over twenty countries in inclusion, refugee support, trauma-informed care, and racial justice. They are the editor of Fix My Head, an internationally renowned publication for people of color that has been going for six years, and a speaker, artist, and musician who has exhibited and toured in Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Croatia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and the United States.
12:30pm-1:30pm: Lunch Break (Provided)
1:30pm-2:45pm: SESSION 2 Chaired by Dr. Shawna Lipton, Chair of Critical Studies
This panel will examine queer subject-object relations and the non-human by exploring geology and how queer social movements relate to the earth. Using photography, sculpture, drag, and biennales as subjects of inquiry, the panelists seek to rethink ecology and how we interact with the natural world. The body, landscapes, and art will be discussed in light of their potential to unsettle the natural.
3:00pm-4:00 pm: SESSION 3: Chaired by Benjamin Craig, Doctoral Candidate, European Graduate School
Pedagogy and Community Based Learning
Three faculty members from Portland State University’s interdisciplinary “University Studies” program examine environmental justice within an educational program that centers social justice and social responsibility. This panel explores educational strategies and environmental justice in three local contexts: local food systems, disability and higher education, and outdoor education projects.
4:00pm-5:15pm: READING CA Conrad, Allison Cobb, Demian DinéYazhi, Introduced by Jay Ponteri, Lead Faculty, Low-Residency MFA Creative Writing, Moderated by Daniela Molnar, Program Head of the Art + Ecology program
CA Conrad is a 2019 Creative Capital Fellow, and the author of 9 books of poetry and essays: their While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books, 2017) received the Lambda Award. A recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, they also received the Believer Magazine Book Award and the Gil Ott Book Award. Their work has been translated into Spanish, Greek, Polish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Danish, French, and German. They teach regularly at Columbia University and at the Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam.
Allison Cobb is the author of After We All Died (Ahsahta Press); Plastic: an autobiography (Essay Press EP series); Born2 (Chax Press); and Green-Wood, originally published by Factory School with a new edition in 2018 from Nightboat Books. Cobb’s work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, and many other journals. She was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and National Poetry Series; has been a resident artist at Djerassi and Playa; and received fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Cobb works for the Environmental Defense Fund and lives in Portland, Oregon, where she co-hosts The Switch reading, art, and performance series and performs in the collaboration Suspended Moment.
Demian DinéYazhi´ is an Indigenous Diné transdisciplinary artist born to the clans Naasht’ézhí Tábąąhá (Zuni Clan Water’s Edge) and Tódích’íí’nii (Bitter Water). Growing up in the colonized border town of Gallup, New Mexico, the evolution of DinéYazhi´’s work has been influenced by their ancestral ties to traditional Diné culture, ceremony, matrilineal upbringing, the sacredness of land, and the importance of intergenerational knowledge. Through research, mining community archives, and social collaboration, DinéYazhi´ highlights the intersections of Radical Indigenous Queer Feminist identity and political ideology while challenging the white noise of contemporary art. DinéYazhi´ has recently exhibited at Portland Biennial (2019), Counterpublic (2019), Honolulu Biennial (2019), Whitney Museum of American Art (2018), Henry Art Gallery (2018), Pioneer Works (2018), CANADA, NY (2017); and Cooley Art Gallery (2017). DinéYazhi´ is the founder of the Indigenous artist/activist initiative, R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment. They are the author and self-publisher of ANCESTRAL MEMORY (2018) and AN INFECTED SUNSET (2018), and their writing has appeared in numerous publications. They are the recipient of the Henry Art Museum’s Brink Award (2017), Hallie Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts (2018), and Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellow (2019).
5:30pm: EXHIBITION WALK-THROUGH + RECEPTION