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The Marfa Dialogues: a symposium on the politics and culture of climate & sustainability

August 9th, 2012 under Arts

MARFA – Ballroom Marfa, in conjunction with the Washington Spectator, Marfa Public Radio and Marfa Book Company, is excited to announce the second biennial Marfa Dialogues, a three-day symposium that includes conversations around climate change and sustainability with artists, performers, writers, scientists and entrepreneurs.

Participants include Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Rebecca Solnit, the distinguished critic and author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost and A Paradise Built in Hell. Other featured participants include David Buckland, Hamilton Fish, Cynthia Hopkins, Diana Liverman, John Nielsen-Gammon, Robert Potts, Tom Rand and Bonnie J. Warnock.

The symposium begins Friday, August 31 with the opening of Carbon 13, Ballroom Marfa’s fall 2012 exhibition presenting newly commissioned works by artists that propose a creative response to climate change. Curated by David Buckland, Founder and Director of Cape Farewell, Carbon 13 features eight international artists who have ventured alongside scientists to some of the world’s geographic tipping points, places profoundly stressed by our warming planet, and whose work aims to stimulate a wider engagement with the climate debate.

The symposium starts Saturday, September 1, following FarmStand Marfa, the weekly regional farmers’ market, and the annual Marfa Lights Festival Parade. Join us Saturday afternoon at the Crowley Theater for a thought-provoking conversation about art and activism with Carbon 13 artists, moderated by Rebecca Solnit. The next discussion will look at the ecological challenges facing the Southwest with leading environmental expert Diana Liverman and Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon.

On Sunday morning, guests are invited to engage with the West Texas landscape on a guided nature walk led by Bonnie J. Warnock, chair of the Department of Natural Resource Management at Sul Ross University. Sunday continues with two events at the Marfa Book Company – a reading by Rebecca Solnit and a presentation by Tom Rand, a Cleantech investor and expert on carbon mitigation.

The weekend concludes with a performance by New York-based artist Cynthia Hopkins of This Clement World, a musical that sails through the burning ice and myths of the high arctic.

With the Marfa Dialogues and Carbon 13, Ballroom Marfa continues its ambitious mission of presenting art as a transforming media capable of addressing the most pressing issues of our time. By underlining the power of artistic engagement to communicate, on a human scale, the urgency of global climate change, the event hopes to inspire and envision the cultural shift required to build a sustainable society.

All weekend events are free and open to the public. Seating is general admission and on a first-come, first-served basis.   Special thanks to The Big Bend Sentinel, Jennifer Braham, Rob Crowley, Jennifer Bell and Tim Crowley of the Crowley Theater, Hamilton Fish, Douglas Humble, Cory Lovell, Marfa Book Company, Marfa Public Radio, Marfa Recording Company, Rosa McElheny, Luis Nieto Dickens, Robert Potts and The Washington Spectator.

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