Events

How Health and the Environment Impact Art

Environmental activists, public health advocates, and artists consider how we can be mindful of illness and the environment.

Artist and mindfulness teacher Zoey Hart leads a guided walk through the soundscape of “Out of Thin Air” at City Hall Park (photo by Vanessa Teran, image courtesy More Art)

In New York City, life can feel so busy that you hardly have the time to breathe. Artist Sari Carel wants to change this, asking you to “think about breathing in all its intimacy and enormity” in her new sound installation with More Art, titled “Out of Thin Air.” Between now and July 8 — if you manage to find the time — you can set aside 16 minutes for a soundwalk through City Hall Park, noticing how we inhale and exhale between all the honking and talking.

Carel’s artwork is a starting point for the symposium “Rethinking Illness: Art, Health, and The Environment,” taking place this Friday at the School of Visual Arts. While we sometimes like to think we’re invincible, health gets in the way of everything, including making art. The symposium, which features environmental activists, public health advocates, and artists, will look at how “themes of time, endurance, exhaustion, and resilience” play into artists’ work and how we can be mindful of illness and the environment.

Given this is New York City, a big focus of the symposium will be on air quality and “access to clean air.” In addition to hearing from representatives of the Environmental Defense Fund and the New York Restoration Project, you’ll gain insight into artist Mary Mattingly‘s various environmentally conscious projects, including “Swale,” in which “a floating food forest built atop a barge … travels to piers in New York City.”

During the second half of the symposium, you will hear from Carel herself, who will talk about the making of “Out of Thin Air” with a professor of music and sound engineer. The goal of this conversation will be to “reframe and amplify experiences of living with chronic illness and navigating environmental duress.”

Rethinking Illness is part of a larger series on accessibility in the arts called “Access/Points: Approaches to Disability Arts,” and was organized by Jeff Kasper, a programming fellow at the CUE Art Foundation, in collaboration with More Art.

When: Friday, June 29, 3–7pm
Where: School of Visual Arts (133 West 21st Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

More info at CUE Art Foundation.

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