Environmental Humanities Visiting Research Fellow, February to March 2020
Research: Next of Kin: Art and the Role of the Empathic in Addressing the Current Climate Crisis
Home Institution: Dartmouth College
Environmental Humanities Research Fellow, February + March 2020
Project: Next of Kin: Art and the Role of the Empathic in Addressing the Current Climate Crisis
Biography: In response to the current complex moment of dramatic political, cultural, and environmental flux, Christina Seely’s practice-based research investigates how to create new forms of ecological narratives to evoke a much needed emotional reaction to the urgency of the moment. As a contemporary visual artist, her scholarly research and artistic practice intersect with science, design, and architecture and are predominantly concerned with the entanglement of two subjects – photography (in its broadest terms) and its potential as a creative tool to address the ecological crisis we are currently facing.
Seely has a broad national and international exhibition record and is featured in many public and private collections. She has been a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, a participant on the Arctic Circle Program (Svalbard Territory), as well as a recipient of a year long Public Arts Commission from the city of San Francisco. She received a 2014 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, her first monograph Lux, was co-published in 2015 by Radius Books and the Museum of Contemporary Photography and she was a 2017 recipient of the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship. She regularly researches along side scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Station in Panama and on the Greenland ice sheet through the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College where she is an assistant professor in the Studio Art Department.
Her project as an IASH fellow will follow up on research done over two years in Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology collections and the subsequent development of artworks for the exhibition, Next of Kin: Seeing Extinction Through An Artist’s Lens which opened at the Harvard Museum of Natural History in 2017. Reflecting on the empathic gaze and the mirrored surface as conceptual tools to build connection between human and non-human in this recent exhibition, Professor Seely’s research will investigate contemporary art approaches towards sparking emotional understandings of scientific data related to Anthropocentric climate change.