ArtAction/Resilience/CareforAll — Day 1

Start: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 5:00 PM

End: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 7:00 PM

This is Day 1 of artists and advocates who are coming together for online conversations, how-to workshops, and on the ground activities! Please check back for details! RSVP for Day 2 and Day 3 programs as well.

Check out our online ArtAction | Resilience | CareForAll ToolKIT with how-tos that complement the day's discussions and workshops


Join us for a series of artist workshops and discussion including with artists Janine Randerson, Andrea Haenggi, Gaye Chan with Daniel Atha of the New York Botanical Gardens as they address global connectivity, self-care, healing, food scarcity and sustainability, and citizen science.

During this time when we find ourselves amid the trauma of the global coronavirus pandemic and immersed within a world of immense ecological degredation and climate crisis, we are tasked to re-think the systems and values in which we are embedded. Today’s performance, workshops,and dialogue seeks to actively shift us beyond the anthropo framework of the Anthropocene and into learning from and connecting both within and beyond ourselves.

Janine Randerson’s online-based participatory performance is an active reflection on Cyclone Harold and its effects on the Pacific communities in recognition that we are all connected. Andrea Haenggi will lead us on a shared embodied multispecies experience while Gaye Chan will be talking about her Eating in Public project that asks of us to rethink our relationship to weeds in terms of food through her tips on foraging and cooking. Daniel Atha will underline the importance of engaged citizen science and discuss his New York City EcoFlora project.

5:00 p.m. — Introduction

Alexandra Chang, Rutgers University-Newark

Michél LeGendre, Corporate Accountability

5:10 p.m. — Online Performance with Artist Janine Randerson

Cyclone Leaves
Interventions into Virtual Spaces: an online performance

(duration 5 min)

LASER Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand and LASER New Brunswick, New Jersey, US

LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) is Leonardo/ISAST's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together to provide the general public with a snapshot of the cultural environment of a region and to foster interdisciplinary networking. Official LASER Talks Website
LASERTalks Facebook | LASERTalks Twitter/Periscope |LASERTalks Instagram

In early April 2020, severe tropical Cyclone Harold left a trail of destruction; in the Solomon islands many perished at sea; serious damage and flooding of crops in Vanuatu’s Luganville; havoc in Fiji’s West coast of Viti Levu; and flooding in Nuku'alofa, Tonga. Many of the islands in Te Moana Nui A Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean) are struggling to ward off Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in Suva, where the pandemic would wreak devastating effects. In Aotearoa New Zealand we felt the traces of the winds of this most intense tropical cyclone to date in lower latitudes as the wind tore leaves from our trees. In the United States and other parts of the globe the impacts of climate change in an increasingly severe Atlantic hurricane season are tragically amplified when combined with the pandemic. In our social and meteorological environment, we are all linked to increasing extreme weather events.

This online performance-event is a call to attune to our current lockdown ‘pause’ on fuel and resource consumption. Through slowing, reflecting and acting we can ultimately mitigate the anthropogenic effects on the global weather system, and the climatic timescale. Artists, scientists and citizen activists provide a vital collective role in a reorientation of relations with our shared atmosphere.

Participating in Cyclone Leaves

At the beginning, I will call on a few people by name to describe your location and local weather condition (internal or external!) in a word or two. Please also add your weather condition to the chat window as I won’t have time to call on everyone. After this, please mute your Zoom microphone. For the next part relax, listen and enact some minor gestures if you choose. The notes below show how to upload an image of your local weather. Before the event please collect a leaf from your garden, street, or park to have near you.

How to add a photo of your local weather to your Zoom background:

1. In the Zoom app, click your profile in the top right corner, and click Settings.

2. On the menu to the left, click Virtual Background.

3. You'll see a few default background options provided by Zoom, including an outer space scene or blades of grass.

4. I invite you to upload a photo of your local weather to use as your background on the same Virtual Background Page.

-- click the tiny + icon next to where it says Choose Virtual Background. A box will pop up allowing you to upload a photo from your computer. Click on the one you want, and it will appear alongside the other pictures as an option for you to choose from.

(If you have the Zoom Pro app you can find the Choose Virtual Background’ setting by clicking on this symbol ^ (located next to the video camera icon). Click on it and you will also find the tiny + icon next to the stock photos, then you can upload your own weather image.)

Note: About half way through the event if you like you can switch off the Virtual background by selecting ‘none’ in the settings. This is in order for your computer camera to register an extreme close-up of your leaf.

Janine Randerson is an Aotearoa/New Zealand-based artist and writer concerned with technological mediation and ecological systems. Her moving and performative works are exhibited in the Asia-Pacific region and internationally. She has collaborated with scientists from NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) in New Zealand, BoM (Bureau of Meteorology) in Melbourne and with environmental research scientists in Denmark. She is a LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) talk host. Janine’s recent book Weather as Media: Towards a Meteorological Art (MIT Press, 2018) examines artworks that offer possible engagement with our future weathers, while creating openings for immediate action in the present. She is an Associate Professor in Art and Design at AUT University in Auckland.

5:20 p.m. — Artist workshop with Andrea Haenggi

Keep Lungs Active – “in concert” with multispecies communities

In this 20 minute embodied workshop, plants, mosses, microbes, viruses teachings of resilience, persistence, sensuality, and staying dynamically in one place guides the participants to listen to their bodies and discover a range of sensations before they name it. We are asserting no distinction between the boundary of the human — our skin — and the world around us to cultivate new forms of exchanges and increase awareness. Covid-19 and Climate Crisis is for all of us a new world, a new life, and in this shared embodied experience we will be in the moment of improvisation.

Protocol: We will sit and stay in one place – chair, bed, cushion, floor. We will work continuously without stopping. We will see the others and ourselves. We will not judge and be judged. We stay in presence. We will Care For All.

Calling on the plants as her guides, teachers, mentors and performers, Andrea Haenggi (Brooklyn, NY)’s dance research and eco-social art practice creates a form of theater called Ethnochoreobotanography, which simultaneously explores issues regarding ecology, feminism, power, labor and care. To expand her art-activist approach with spontaneous urban plants, in 2017 she co-founded Environmental Performance Agency (EPA) with artists Catherine Grau, Ellie Irons, and Christopher Kenney. Appropriating the acronym EPA - in response to the ongoing rollback of Federal environmental policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the collective’s primary goal is to shift thinking around the terms environment, performance, and agency – using artistic, social, and embodied practices to advocate for the agency of all living performers co-creating our environment. and

5:40 p.m. — Artist workshop with Gaye Chan

“Eating in Public on eating in public”

Gaye will discuss her ongoing public-engaged project Eating in Public with collaborator Nandita Sharma that asks us to rethink state and capitalist systems through the concept of public and private lands, sharing food with strangers, and the potential of weeds as food. Gaye’s work has actively planted, cooked, and shared food for and with the public through gorilla tactics with the idea of food as free. Eating in Public has initiated more than 1,000 projects with an idea based from the 17th century Diggers who believed in a commons for all.

Video: WE(ED)S UP FRONT recipes and foraging with Gaye Chan videos produced by Marlene Siu

Gaye Chan engages in solo and collaborative activities that take place on the web, in publications, streets as well as galleries. Past exhibition venues include Art in General (New York City), Articule (Montreal), Artspeak (Vancouver), Asia Society (New York City), Gallery 4A (Sydney), Honolulu Museum of Art (Honolulu), SF Camerawork (San Francisco), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), and YYZ Artist Outlet (Toronto).

Chan co-founded Eating in Public in 2003, an anti-capitalism project nudging a little space outside of the commodity system. Following the path of pirates and nomads, hunters and gathers, diggers and levelers, she gathers at people's homes, plant free food gardens on private and public land, set up free stores, all without permission.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, Marlene Siu is a conceptual artist working in diverse media including photgraphy, sculpture and installation. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Sculpture at University of Las Vegas, Nevada. She was a co-founder/co-curator of artist-run contemporary art spaces, 5th Wall Gallery and Project Space in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her work has been exhibited in multiple group exhibitions in Hawaiʻi and Nevada. Her solo exhibitions include, “Container Theory” at the Winchester Gallery and “Relative Perspectives” a duo exhibiton at the Rotunda Gallery in Las Vegas, Nevada. She currently works and lives in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi and is the Exhibitions Manager at the Honolulu Museum of Art.

6:00 p.m. — Saving Them to Save Ourselves

Talk with Daniel Altha, New York Botanical Garden

Daniel Atha is a botanist at the New York Botanical Garden. He has conducted botanical field work in all 50 states of the US as well as Vietnam, Bolivia, Mexico, Belize, and several states of the former Soviet Union. Daniel has published a book on the plants of Belize, numerous scientific articles and has discovered two plant species new to science. In 2020, he will publish a botanical inventory of New York’s Central Park. With Brian Boom, he co-manages the New York City EcoFlora, a community science project to document the wild flora of New York City.

6:10 p.m. Discussion and Q&A moderated by Alexandra Chang and Michél LeGendre

Moderator Bios:

Alexandra Chang, Climate Working GroupAlexandra Chang is a curator and writer working on EcoArt and climate change. She organizes the Climate Working Group and the EcoArt Salon at Paul Robeson Galleries, bridging Science, Humanities, and the Arts. Chang is Associate Professor of Practice with the Art History program at the Department of Arts, Culture and Media and Interim Associate Director of the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, and Associate Director of the American Studies Program. She helps organize RU-N’s Eco Working Group and teaches EcoArt and Global Asias and Visual Cultures. She serves as an advisor of the NYC Urban Field Station Artist-in-Residence and as Vice Chair of Communication for the American Alliance of Museums Climate and Environment Network.

Michél LeGendreMichél Legendre serves as the Associate Campaign Director on the tobacco campaign at Corporate Accountability. In this role, he helps direct the work to monitor, expose, and challenges the tobacco industry towards long-term and lasting impact. He's organized on issues related to Climate Change, Water, and Food. Most recently working on climate campaigns that support climate justice movements at the UNFCCC's treaty negotiations and in city coalitions for Environmental Justice.

6:45 p.m. Care For All — #demonstratingwhileisolating Earth Day Protest

Join artist Andrea Haenggi in an on-the-ground protest that you can participate in for these three days April 22, 23, and culminating on the 24th with a virtual protest collaboration with The Illuminator Collective! Today we will focus on the on-the-ground Artist-led ArtAction: balcony/window/outside socially distanced on-the-ground protest at 7:00 p.m. with Andrea Haenggi

Video Still by Robert Neuwirth

Care For All is an initiative by artist Andrea Haenggi to create a moment of solidarity and to amplify our own voices together with our neighbors, strengthening our localities while acting globally. We are raising our voices at home in social distance to strike a blow for climate and social justice, for all living beings – humans and non-humans – to have the future they deserve.

How it Works

1. Make a protest sign to hold as you chant

2. Join in the collective chant. You can download the chant here

3. State the action you want loud and clear

4. Use pots and pans and your dancing body to express your demands and the joy of people power

5. If you feel comfortable with it, you can support your participation by asking a couple of your neighbors to join you on their balconies or at their windows (in appropriate social distance).

Protest Sign Making:

Use any cardboard or paper that works for you. You may want to put your general demand on one side and on the other list the new habit you have developed during the pandemic that contributes to the health of the Planet.

Please download or have this sheet handy (below) to join in the chant led by Andrea!

Visit our ArtAction | Resilience | CareForAll TooKIT to protest at home!

Climate Working Group logo by Jonathan Lo, Public Assembly