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NASA’s New Artist-in-Residence Draws Attention to Climate Change


It was announced recently at the Global Exchange summit on art and science at Lincoln Center that artist and photojournalist Justin Guariglia would be NASA’s artist-in-residence. Guariglia is the second person to hold this title, with Laurie Anderson being the first back in 2003 before Congress terminated the program because of costs (NY Times notes that Guariglia’s residency will be funded by private grants).

For his residency, the artist is collaborating with geoscientists at NASA to “figure out fresh ways to present the effects of climate change to the public.” Last year, he joined a NASA mission in Greenland to take photos of melting glaciers. Until 2020, he’ll be on low-altitude flights in the Oceans Melting Greenland mission. Lead scientist of the mission Josh Willis says art “seems like the most powerful way to help people understand just how radically we are reshaping Earth’s climate.”

On his website, Guariglia goes into more detail about his unique process and work with NASA:

In his next projects Guariglia will continue to explore the unstable relationship between space and time in collaboration with NASA. Partnered with climate scientists, he will photograph from flight missions and draw from the agency’s extensive mapping, temperature and other data as the raw material for multi-media re-visualizations of the impact of the rising oceans.

His exhibit at the Norton Museum of Art, “Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene,” consists of digitally printed images of dying glaciers with “more than 140 strata of ink to create a three-dimensional surface” and opens September next year. It’s great to see art promoted alongside science for combatting environmental challenges. Full STEAM ahead!

(via NY Times, featured image via Stig Nygaard/Flickr)

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