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Footprint Zero

Photo by Kate Colby

Footprint Zero, an initiative launched by the non-profit organization Tamaas in 2016, serves as an international call to action for greater environmental justice. Working in collaboration with artists across all disciplines and geographic locations, Footprint Zero looks at both the local and global concerns of environmental destruction. With the news about climate change and its consequences overwhelming for all of us, particularly with the recent election in the United States and the EPA under serious threat, Footprint Zero hopes to develop meaningful dialogue and awareness about this critical issue that affects everyone.

To maintain a low carbon footprint, artists were asked to create an artwork which could be presented digitally, live, or generally without using excessive resources or energy. Many of these artists looked at the local concerns of environmental change on the landscape and economy while others took a more global view of the situation, including excess consumption and waste. Some were linked to politics or religion and other remain more abstract and personal.

Organized by Deborah Kapchan.

Moderated by Sarah Riggs and Omar Berrada

Panelists Include:

Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, artist, filmmaker and activist. Her work addresses pressing concerns of the modern world including ecological destruction, human rights and cultural homogenization. Born and raised in Santiago de Chile she has been in exile since the early 1970s, after the military coup against the elected president Salvador Allende. Vicuña has published twenty-two art and poetry books. Her ephemeral, site specific performance installations in nature, city streets and museums combine ritual and assemblage, and are the subject of Spit Temple, The Selected Performances of Cecilia Vicuña (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012). Her work has shown in NYC at he Whitney Museum and MoMA among many venues internationally, including in 2017 in Documenta 17.

Anna Della Subin writes about sleepwalkers, grave worship, imperial Ethiopian court etiquette, visions of the flood, 13th-century oculists, occultists, 300-year naps, men becoming gods, and gods becoming men. Her work has appeared in the London Review of Books, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The White Review and Granta en español, among other places. Her book-length essay Not Dead But Sleeping was published by Triple Canopy in 2016. She is also an editor at Bidoun, a publishing and curatorial initiative focused on the Middle East and its diasporas. In 2014, she was writer-in- residence at Dar Al-Ma'mûn in Marrakech thanks to the generous support of Tamaas and its Environments project.

Khaled Malas is an architect from Damascus and a co-founder of the Sigil Collective. He is also a PhD candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Sigil are an Arab collective based in Beirut and New York City. They seek to explore the simultaneously marvelous and terrifying metamorphoses of the Arab landscape that is the stake and site of historical and contemporary struggles. Since 2014 they have been engaged in building rural architectures of resistance in Syria including water-wells and electricity-generating windmills. He remains condemned to hope.

Emmanuel Iduma, a writer and art critic, is the author of the novel The Sound of Things to Come and A Stranger’s Pose, a forthcoming book of travel stories. His essays have been published in several journals and exhibition catalogues. He trained as a lawyer in Nigeria, and graduated from the MFA program in Art Writing at the School of Visual Arts, New York, and now teaches in it.

Filmmaker/photographer Jem Cohen's feature films include Museum Hours, Counting, Chain, Benjamin Smoke, Instrument, and World Without End (No Reported Incidents). Shorts include Lost Book Found, Little Flags, and Anne Truitt – Working. His films are in the collections of NYC's Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum and have been broadcast by PBS, Arte, and the Sundance Channel. He's had retrospectives at London's NFT, and the Oberhausen, Gijon, and Punto de Vista film fests. His multi-media show with live music, We Have an Anchor, was a main stage production in Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave, and at London’s Barbican.