The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
EVENT: Art Exhibition—Cuyahoga River Fugues Revisited
WHAT: Artist talk and opening reception and Cuyahoga River Fugues Revisited exhibition
WHEN: Talk on Feb.3 from 6 - 7 p.m., reception on Feb. 3 from 7 - 9 p.m., exhibition from Feb. 3 - March 30
WHERE: SPACES, 2220 Superior Viaduct, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the SPACES World Artists Program (SWAP) is pleased to welcome back New York artist Margaret Cogswell. Nine years ago, as SWAP’s third artist-in-residence, Cogswell created Cuyahoga River Fugues, a haunting mixed-media installation that wove together stories gathered from steel workers, environmentalists, fishermen, historians and city planners whose lives had indelibly intersected with the Cuyahoga. This January, Cogswell returns to SPACES for a second residency, to revisit the river and the work it inspired.
Overwhelming response to Cuyahoga Fugues led Cogswell to explore the vital and increasingly politicized role of waterways throughout the world for the last decade, for which she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2009. Her site-specific series of River Fugues utilizes the musical structure of a fugue (with its recurring themes in varying parts of the structure) as a vehicle to weave together video, audio and sculptural components into installations that explore the interdependency of people, industry and rivers in post-industrial regions.
Cogswell’s River Fugues have included Hudson Weather Fugues (on the Hudson River in New York, 2005), Buffalo River Fugues (Buffalo, NY 2006), projects in Brussels, Belgium, Monaco and at the Chicago Field Museum (2007-2009), Mississippi River Fugues (Art Museum, TN, 2008) and Hudson River Fugues (Tang Museum, NY, 2009-2010). She is currently working on a solo exhibition at the Art Museum of the University of Wyoming for September and the development of New River Fugues in Virginia and North Carolina.
For her three-week return to Cleveland in January, Cogswell will reconnect with individuals who participated in the development of Cuyahoga River Fugues in 2002 and look into what has changed in their relationships to the Cuyahoga over the last nine years. She will develop a series of drawings and a mixed-media installation based on video footage taken at the steel mills and along the Cuyahoga River. The resulting exhibition will include selected videos from nine years of River Fugues projects inspired by her time with the Cuyahoga River.
Join Margaret Cogswell and her Cuyahoga River Fugues collaborators for a public dialogue on the work, at 6 p.m. on Feb. 3 at SPACES, to kick off the exhibition opening.
Margaret Cogswell is a mixed-media installation artist residing in New York. Cogswell has a M.F.A. in sculpture from Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University (1982) and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2009), New York Foundation for the Arts grants (2007,1993) and Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants (1987,1991). Cogswell is a member of Mapping Spectral Traces and an associate member of PLaCE Research Center at the University of Western England Bristol. Cogswell's professional career has also included teaching studio art at the Purchase College School of Art and Design of the State University of New York; Rhode Island School of Design; Kansas City Art Institute; Parsons School of Design in New York and Kanazawa, Japan, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
SWAP is a residency initiative begun at SPACES in 2002 that provides artist-in-residence opportunities for international, national and local artists who explore and experiment. SWAP supports the creation, presentation and discussion of artwork while facilitating collaboration among Northeast Ohio audiences.
SPACES is located at 2220 Superior Viaduct, in Cleveland, Ohio. Gallery hours are Tues. – Sun., 12 – 5 p.m. and 12 - 8 p.m. on Thurs. Admission (and parking) during regular gallery hours is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.SPACESgallery.org, call 216.621.2314 or email contact@SPACESgallery.org.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Last week, the Peruvian Palm Oil Producers' Association (JUNPALMA) promised to enter into an agreement for sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil production. The promise was secured by the U.S. based National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in collaboration with the local government, growers and the independent conservation organization Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo.
The rallying cry to build it again and to build it better than before is inspiring after a natural disaster, but it may not be the best course of action, according to new research published in the journal Science.
"Faced with global warming, rising sea levels, and the climate-related extremes they intensify, the question is no longer whether some communities will retreat—moving people and assets out of harm's way—but why, where, when, and how they will retreat," the study begins.
The researchers suggest that it is time to rethink retreat, which is often seen as a last resort and a sign of weakness. Instead, it should be seen as the smart option and an opportunity to build new communities.
"We propose a reconceptualization of retreat as a suite of adaptation options that are both strategic and managed," the paper states. "Strategy integrates retreat into long-term development goals and identifies why retreat should occur and, in doing so, influences where and when."
The billions of dollars spent to rebuild the Jersey Shore and to create dunes to protect from future storms after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 may be a waste if sea level rise inundates the entire coastline.
"There's a definite rhetoric of, 'We're going to build it back better. We're going to win. We're going to beat this. Something technological is going to come and it's going to save us,'" said A.R. Siders, an assistant professor with the disaster research center at the University of Delaware and lead author of the paper, to the New York Times. "It's like, let's step back and think for a minute. You're in a fight with the ocean. You're fighting to hold the ocean in place. Maybe that's not the battle we want to pick."
Rethinking retreat could make it a strategic, efficient, and equitable way to adapt to the climate crisis, the study says.
Dr. Siders pointed out that it has happened before. She noted that in the 1970s, the small town of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin moved itself out of the flood plain after one too many floods. The community found and reoriented the business district to take advantage of highway traffic and powered it entirely with solar energy, as the New York Times reported.
That's an important lesson now that rising sea levels pose a catastrophic risk around the world. Nearly 75 percent of the world's cities are along shorelines. In the U.S. alone coastline communities make up nearly 40 percent of the population— more than 123 million people, which is why Siders and her research team are so forthright about the urgency and the complexities of their findings, according to Harvard Magazine.
Some of those complexities include, coordinating moves across city, state or even international lines; cultural and social considerations like the importance of burial grounds or ancestral lands; reparations for losses or damage to historic practices; long-term social and psychological consequences; financial incentives that often contradict environmental imperatives; and the critical importance of managing retreat in a way that protects vulnerable and poor populations and that doesn't exacerbate past injustices, as Harvard Magazine reported.
If communities could practice strategic retreats, the study says, doing so would not only reduce the need for people to choose among bad options, but also improve their circumstances.
"It's a lot to think about," said Siders to Harvard Magazine. "And there are going to be hard choices. It will hurt—I mean, we have to get from here to some new future state, and that transition is going to be hard.…But the longer we put off making these decisions, the worse it will get, and the harder the decisions will become."
To help the transition, the paper recommends improved access to climate-hazard maps so communities can make informed choices about risk. And, the maps need to be improved and updated regularly, the paper said as the New York Times reported.
"It's not that everywhere should retreat," said Dr. Siders to the New York Times. "It's that retreat should be an option. It should be a real viable option on the table that some places will need to use."
Leaked documents show that Jair Bolsonaro's government intends to use the Brazilian president's hate speech to isolate minorities living in the Amazon region. The PowerPoint slides, which democraciaAbierta has seen, also reveal plans to implement predatory projects that could have a devastating environmental impact.
Last week we received positive news on the border wall's imminent construction in an Arizona wildlife refuge. The Trump administration delayed construction of the wall through about 60 miles of federal wildlife preserves.