ViVA Artist News: Marina Zurkow and Dear Climate Collaborator Una Chauduri Featured in New Podcast
Now in its second year, the Multispecies Worldbuilding Lab (MWL) is based in the Center for Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement at the Graduate School of Arts & Science, New York University. This interdisciplinary collective of students, scholars, and mediamakers who deploy a range of methods – sonic and visual arts, multispecies sensory ethnography, field-based scientific research, interactive documentary, journalism, and feminist theories – to pose questions and find answers to living more thoughtfully and less violently. In their own words:
How might we study and engage with the many lively socialities and sensoria that are more than human?
What is multispecies worldbuilding in an epoch of rapid and massive socioecological changes—delightful for some, deathly and devastating for many?
What might it mean to imagine futures otherwise, to disagree with fascism and fundamentalism in all their guises, to be human differently?
The MWL podcast accomplishes this by platforming scientists, authors and artists who work across varying organic and ecological spheres impacted by climate change. In their lively interview, Marina and her Dear Climate collaborator Una Chauduri expose just how their friendship served as method and medium. Una is the Dean of Humanities at NYU and teaches in the departments of English, Drama, and Environmental Studies. She considers “ecospheric consciousness,” defined as the "ideas, feelings, and practices that attend to multispecies socialities and geophysical forces that shape human lives”; interests that formed productive links to Marina, who also teaches at NYU in the Institute of Telecommunications Program, Tisch School of the Arts. The collaborative Dear Climate (which another ViVA Artist Oliver Kellhammer helped co-found) undertakes projects that use humor and quirky sarcasm to address climate change through their public installations, approach to design, toolkits, unique pedagogies and games for multispecies survival.
In this 36 minute episode (also available as transcript), Marina and Una talk about how their collaborative emerged, their early leadership and participation in the growing field of Animal Studies, and the many artists and scholars who they count as friends and partners in their work.
Dear Climate has exhibited widely in the US and internationally. In the podcast they also talk about their 2018 participation in Storm King’s Indicators: Artists on Climate Change outdoor installation entitled “General Assembly”; a series of banners along a walking path that guide visitors through a process of meeting, befriending, and becoming the climate. The title is derived from their creative imaging of a multispecies United Nations. A more recent public installation titled “Whale Fall Feast” is a climate-themed mini-golf course in Brooklyn, NY.