Sayler_Morris_NetherlandsSM - Edward Mor

SAYLER/MORRIS

HIGHLIGHTS
 

  • Fifteen years making diverse work about ecological issues that have a broad range, from the poetic to the directly activist
     

  • Activate a variety of spaces, including science museums, art museums, and public spaces. Audiences range from children to local leaders
     

  • Develop popular interdisciplinary courses on ecological activism at Syracuse University in collaboration with local farms and nonprofits via Sayler/Morris’ campus-based Canary Lab
     

  • Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment exhibition at Thomas Cole National Historic Site, includes installation of Eclipse, the art duo’s video about the extinction of the passenger pigeon
     

  • Their most recent work concerns the Ecuadorian Amazon

THEMES

Anthropocene & Posthumanism; Beyond Nature/Culture; Climate Change; Democracy & Capitalism; Environmental Justice & Ecological Systems; Extractivism, Deforestation & Desertification; Indigenous Practices; Multispecies Ethos & Animal/Nature Rights; Post-/Anti-Colonialism & Decolonization; Science, Technology, Data & Mapping; Water & Food Practices

Artist duo Susannah Sayler (she/hers) and Edward Morris (he/his), also known as Sayler/Morris, create site-specific and historically-inflected artworks that respond to our changing relationship to nature, culture, and ecology. Their work includes photographs of landscapes impacted by climate change, such as History of the Future; a short-film called Their World Is Not Our World, about a man-made “wilderness” park in The Netherlands; and Water, Gold, Soil: American River, a multimedia project that explores how California rivers transition from free-flowing wilderness to rigid canalization.

 

Sayler/Morris felt they also could be effective by supporting a larger network of creators and established The Canary Project, a platform for collaborative works that deepen public understanding of climate change. In the same spirit, Sayler/Morris additionally developed The Canary Lab at Syracuse University. Created in the spirit of experimentation, the Canary Lab is a hub of interdisciplinary study of ecological issues as well as their primary studio space. Each course explores a theme such as food or shelter, and extends into the university setting through film screenings, speaker series, and community collaborations.

 

Recently, Sayler/Morris launched a new platform called Toolshed that connects ecologic thought with action by gathering and sharing tools for a livable future. Toolshed grows from an acknowledgment that climate change has reached a tipping point and cultural producers have an important role to meet the new challenges this rapid change will bring. Toolshed includes a physical compound based in Hudson, New York, and a virtual space. Modeled on tool lending libraries, both in-person and online components are aimed at freely distributing practical tools and methodological approaches.

We believe, and continue to believe, that cultural production is a crucial building block in social movements. Art opens a space for belief.  And belief makes a space for change. Beginning in 2020, we decided that a change of metaphor was needed. No longer just a matter of sounding the alarm (the canary in the coal mine), we must urgently assemble and distribute tools for building resilient communities, tools for seeing the world in a new way, tools for finding joy and common cause.

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