Climate Signals: Engaging New York City in the Climate Conversation: A five-borough public art installation by Justin Brice Guariglia presented by the Climate Museum and the Mayor’s Office - Climate Policy and Programs
The exhibition consists of ten large (11’ x 7’), solar-powered highway signs with phrases that draw passers-by into the climate conversation. The signs will appear in parks across the city in a range of neighborhoods, including some of those most vulnerable to climate change, and will flash translations into several of the many languages of NYC. (Sites listed below.)
This fall programming is made possible by a range of intense collaborations that appropriately represent the partnership and joint action needed to tackle climate change. Co-presenting partners the Mayor’s Office - Climate Policy and Programs (Climate Signals) and Governors Island (the Climate Museum hub) are joined by major partner the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and by partners Hudson River Park Trust, Snug Harbor Cultural center and Botanical Garden, and Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy. Fifteen citywide partners will co-host a broad range of programming related to the exhibition and to moving forward together on the climate challenge.
These events include a Climate Justice teach-in in Sunset Park, an Ask-A-Scientist Day organized by the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia's Earth Institute/NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; the co-creation of a mural by the members of Yuca, a youth arts organization in the South Bronx, and artist Patrícia Melodia Lewis; and a K-12 teacher training at the New York Hall of Science. The Climate Museum will also participate in SUBMERGE, the annual estuary science festival presented by Hudson River Park. Further details on all programming are available here.(Partners listed below.)
On weekends, the signs will be staffed by volunteers, including community residents, members of the Climate Museum Youth Advisory Council, and NYC employees.
The Climate Museum hub at Governors Island’s Admiral’s House—the Museum’s first temporary space—will include an interactive feature allowing visitors to create and photograph their own climate ‘signals,’ large-scale portraits of New Yorkers who are making a difference on climate, and more.
Both Climate Signals and the Climate Museum hub will be celebrated the evening of September 21.
“Climate change is the most important issue in human history, and paradoxically difficult for us to communicate,” said Guariglia. “The idea for the signs was to use a medium that suggested urgency (the highway message sign), and a language that is accessible to everyone, to raise awareness around these urgent, existential issues. My hope is for this art work to generate conversations that will inspire social and political change.”
In 2016, Guariglia became the first artist to fly on earth science missions with NASA. His solo show Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene, which received an NEA grant, will open in September at the Fisher Museum of Art at USC in collaboration with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. His work is currently on display in Storm King Art Center’s climate-focused show Indicators: Artists on Climate Change. Guariglia is a Howard Foundation Fellow at Brown University and an Artist-in-Residence at the Anchorage Museum and Woods Hole Research Center.
“Justin’s work will help build the climate conversation across New York City this fall ,” said Miranda Massie, Director of the Climate Museum. “We are delighted to be presenting it and to be working with so many extraordinary partners, including the NYC Climate Office, NYC Parks, the Trust for Governors Island, and more than a dozen community justice and cultural organizations in all five boroughs.”
“Climate change is one of New York City’s greatest challenges and requires creative approaches to educate and engage all of us about its risks and solutions. Art can play a valuable role in this effort,” said Daniel Zarrilli, NYC’s Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer. “We are thrilled to partner with the Climate Museum on Climate Signals to demonstrate the role of art in helping to bring more New Yorkers into the conversation and promote the importance of climate action by New York City on a global stage.”
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About the New York City Mayor’s Office - Climate Policy and Programs: The NYC Mayor’s Office - Climate Policy and Programs team – comprised of the Office of Sustainability; the Office of Recovery and Resiliency; and the Office of Environmental Coordination – leads NYC’s fight against climate change and manages the #OneNYC program for resilience, equitability, and sustainability. NYC was the first city to align itself with the 1.5 Celsius target of the Paris Agreement. NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions are down, with further measures in progress, and the City is investing over $20 billion to adapt neighborhoods to climate change risks. NYC is divesting the City’s pension funds from fossil fuels and suing the five investor-owned fossil fuel companies most responsible for climate change.
About the Climate Museum: The Climate Museum is creating the first U.S. center for cultural engagement with climate change, drawing us together around the social justice, public health, and urban design challenges and opportunities we face. Its mission is to mobilize museum programming across the arts and sciences for broad community engagement with climate. The Museum will open a dedicated lab space in 2020 and a permanent home thereafter. Climate Signals is its second exhibition. Please address media inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.