Category Archives: Power of Artists

Letting Go doesn’t always mean giving up – in HBO documentary

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Short interview with the filmmaker that expresses a perspective that seems well worth considering! Cheers.

“Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox contemplates our climate-change future by exploring the human qualities that global warming can’t destroy.”

HBO:  How would you describe the message of How to Let Go of the World?

JOSH FOX:  I thought I was making a film about climate change, and then in the middle of it I ended up making a film about the stunning revelation that it’s sort of too late to stop a lot of what we think about as climate change. That we have to refocus our dialogue to be about humanity as we progress through the most difficult period of change that we have ever seen. Do we want to be known as the moment in history that was incredibly violent, that was incredibly insensitive, that created wars, starved huge sections of the population, was selfish, and was racist? Or do we want future civilizations to look at this moment as the time we completely changed the way our civilization operates?

Click here for Trailer.  Can watch on HBO-GO, HBO-NOW and HBO itself

Broadsheet themes / 18 artists on “Resilience”

Can we begin thinking about a broadsheet theme that could unify our work? Open enough, but a punchy word or sort phrase (and maybe even a hopeful one)?

Some starting thoughts:
Resilience, Bounce, Nimbleness, Flex, Rise, Wake, Buoyant, Unsinkable, Lifebuoy

Kickstarter for Mel Chin’s “The Arctic is Paris” film

Support Mel Chin film on Kickstarter.  Conceived at the Rising Waters Confab 2015.

The Arctic is Paris.   A short film connecting the Arctic, Paris, and the world, with poodles, and an Inuit hunter giving an urgent climate change message.  See the trailer.



Dialogue for the First Week: Knight Foundation Idea

Confab Team,

During the first week, we might have a brainstorming event for Rising Waters Confab ideas for the Knight Arts Challenge.  Last year, I entered the “Drowning Man Festival” invented at the 2015 Confab.  (I intend to send it again).  As southeast Florida residents, Colin Foord and I can submit as many ideas as we like – for the Confab or individual artists.

What kind of art event can accelerate awareness / action related to rising waters, contribute to the artistic vitality of the urban environments of southeast Florida and be “fresh”, “cool”, “hip”, etc. for the Knight judges?  See invite below the Climate Visuals Webinar.


Although I usually don’t like these type of things, I have signed up for the

Webinar 12 April: Climate Visuals – telling a better visual story about climate change

Thousands of images of climate change are shared around the world daily, but our understanding of how people interpret such images is limited, which leaves those trying to communicate about climate issues flying a little blind. To address this and give communicators more in the way of practical guidance, Climate Outreach conducted international social research to build a detailed picture of how people respond to different images of climate change. On this call hosted with TREE, Climate Outreach will present 7 principles for more effective visual communication about climate change (see our report and our Climate Visuals website), followed by a Q&A.


Dear Glenn (and tens of thousands of others),

I am delighted to share that we just launched the Knight Arts Challenge, this year offering $2.5 million for the best ideas for the arts in South Florida. We want to hear from you! What inspires you? What moves you? What do you want to share with the community? I hope you will take a moment to go and submit your idea. All it takes is crafting a 150-word description by the May 2 deadline.

We just finished a wonderful series of Community Conversations on the challenge in March. This week, we are hosting two informational sessions on the challenge in the Florida Keys, and later this month we will be hosting office hours, where you can get individual feedback on your ideas from Knight Foundation staff. I hope you will join us and contribute to the conversation so that together we can make art general in Miami.

In the meantime, check out this overview of the 2016 challenge on our blog, including interviews with past winners.

I look forward to reading your idea.


Victoria Rogers
Knight Foundation


The Rising Waters Confab Report / Visual Book is complete.  Click here for the document.


Rising Waters Confab Report

2 Participants
3 Introducing the Rising Waters Confab | Buster Simpson
4 Captiva’s Outlook | Leonard Berry
5 In the Dry Morning | Gretel Ehrlich
8 How the Arctic Drives the Climate of the Temperate World | Gretel Ehrlich
11 What Happened 120,000 Years Ago Could Repeat | John Englander
12 Surging Seas | Climate Central
14 We Have Time to Adapt, but No Time to Waste | John Englander
16 Digging for Water | Glenn Weiss
18 Is it Fair? | Thomas Ruppert
19 How to Talk About the Climate | Florida Sea Grant College Program
21 Week Two | Jeremy Pickard
22 Climate Change Is Gradual | June Wilson
24 Commons at Ground Level | Anne Focke
27 Commons Reader | Anne Focke
28 Rising Waters Blog | Anne Focke
30 Who Should be Our Allies? | Orion Cruz
32 Agitprop at Rally | Buster Simpson and Edward Morris
33 Statues of Brave Heroes of Climate Change Skepticism | Lewis Hyde
34 Drowning Man Festival | Lewis Hyde with Others
36 5 Actions to Stop Rising Seas | Xavier Cortada
38 Captiva Island H.V.A.C. Wedge | Buster Simpson
39 Making Ice Bags to Refreeze the Glaciers | Xavier Cortada
40 Glenn Weiss, Jungle Seeds
41 Week Two | Jeremy Pickard
42 L’Arctique est Paris | All Confab Collaboration, Lead Authors Mel Chin and Gretel Ehrlich
49 Mangroves | Xavier Cortada, Walter Hood, and Buster Simpson
51 Removing Exotics | Xavier Cortada
Raked Free Zone | Buster Simpson
52 Pine Island Sound Expedition
54 Underwater Affair and Palm Column | Walter Hood
56 Hurricane Remodel…Hire an Artist | Lewis Hyde
57 The Graceful Retreat | Buster Simpson
58 National Midden Mound-ument Preserves | Buster Simpson and Andrea Polli
60 Rising Gas | Andrea Polli
62 Islands and Global Forces – Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary | Andrea Polli and Buster Simpson
64 Voxel Frog // Mangrove | Buster Simpson
66 Limestone | David Buckland
68 Charcoal Sketch 2 for Neptune (A Play About Water) | Jeremy Pickard
72 SOS Life Float & Reliquary | Buster Simpson
74 Suggesting Palm Readings | Laura Sindell
76 Charley and Bob | Andrea Polli
78 Luxury Island and American River Archive | Edward Morris and Susannah Sayler
80 The Water Table | Jeremy Pickard
82 Pinhole Cameras | Laura Sindell
84 More Sugar, Dear? | Laura Sindell
86 Grounding Line – I’ve Seen the Water on the Wall | Lewis Hyde
87 The Manatees at Blue Springs | Lewis Hyde
88 Becoming Water | Gretel Ehrlich
89 Death and Poetry | Gretel Ehrlich
90 Fathom’s Portal | Buster Simpson
91 Stacked Chairs | June Wilson
92 Table to Deploy // The Arctic is Captiva | Buster Simpson

Shivaji Competition Open for Entries

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Please read and enter the Shivaji Competition.  Shivaji Competition seeks practical and impossible ideas to maintain human habitation on islands and deltas doomed by a one meter sea level rise in the 21st century. Submission as animated GIFs are due March 10, 2016.

Competition is authored by Glenn Weiss for the Rising Waters Confab 2016 dialogues.

Confab Collaboration Continues in Paris: Chin, Ehrlich and Canary Project

Artist Mel Chin, Author Gretel Ehrlich and Canary Project director Ed Morris met at the Rising Waters Confab and invented “THE ARCTIC IS”.  This week in Paris, the team is holding discussions and presented rough cuts of the future film.


Today as the COP21 international climate talks began in Paris, French President Hollande noted that, “the stakes have never been higher.”  Over the weekend nearly a million people marched in cities and towns around the world to send a clear message to the negotiators.

Inspired by the activism around the COP21 talks, The Canary Project has been working with Mel Chinand Gretel Ehrlich on a multifaceted project called The Arctic Is.  This project will ultimately result in a website with information on both climate change impacts and actions specific to any location you enter.  Not run of the mill actions like changing a light bulb or buying this or that green product, but rather specific marches, politicians to vote for, groups to join, real culture that you can make etc.

The main theme of the project is that climate change is not some remote phenomenon. It is everywhere and is happening now.  The Arctic is Paris.  The Arctic is Des Moines. The Arctic is Lagos.  The Arctic is Lima.  The Arctic is Beirut.  The Arctic is your hometown.  The project launches with two events in Paris organized by Gretel Ehrlich featuring in an amazing in-progress film by Mel Chin.  See below.

Summit of Creatives
Expanding the Conversation
The Arctic Is

Gaite Lyrique 

3bis Rue Rapin
Paris, 75003
December 6, 2:30 PM

Part 2 of the conversation.
L’arctique est Paris
The Arctic is Paris


14, avenue Parmentier 75011 Paris
December 2, 7 PM
refreshments served

Please join us for a conversation moderated by former host of Talk of the Nation on NPRNeal Conan, with Greenlanders, Jens Danielsen and Mamarut Kristiansen with several climate scientists.  Additionally, clips from Mel Chin’s film, “L’Arctique est Paris” produced in collaboration with Gretel Ehrlich
and The Canary Project will be shown.
The Canary Project
115 West 29th Street
New York, NY 10001