North American Début: “Cape Farewell: Art & Climate Change”

North American Début: “Cape Farewell: Art & Climate Change”

Artology: the Fusion of Art and Science at Cranbrook
January 31- June, 13, 2010

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“Cape Farewell – Art & Climate Change” — the second exhibition in the series Artology: the Fusion of Art and Science at Cranbrook –explores the most challenging environmental issue of this century and is making its North American début at Cranbrook Institute of Science on January 31, 2010.

Created by the artist David Buckland in 2001, the Cape Farewell project is widely acknowledged to be the most significant sustained artistic response to climate change anywhere in the world. “Art & Climate Change” brings together specially commissioned work from the artists who have voyaged with Cape Farewell on the 100 year-old sailing schooner, the Noorderlicht. Over the course of three expeditions in 2003, 2004 and 2005, the artists traveled to Spitsbergen and the Svalbard Archipelago in the Artic. Inspired by the work of the on-board climate scientists and having experienced the effects of climate change in this cruel but fragile environment, each of the artists has responded in a unique way.

Internationally renowned artists with work in the “Cape Farewell” exhibition include: Heather Ackroyd & Dan Harvey, Kathy Barber, David Buckland, Peter Clegg, Siobhan Davies, Gautier Deblonde, Max Eastley, Nick Edwards, Antony Gormley, Alex Hartley, Michele Noach, and Rachel Whiteread. Through images, sound, sculpture, dance and the power of the word, their work expresses the wonder of nature together with the drama of destruction. A truly collective endeavor, the “Cape Farewell” exhibition engages and inspires audiences to participate in our shared future. The common message of the exhibition is that while we mourn the loss of our natural environment, we still are inspired to create and change the way we live in a bid to save it.

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In its North American première at Cranbrook, “Cape Farewell” already has had substantial success at international venues, seeing attendance of over a quarter of a million people at Natural History Museum in London and over 45,000 at The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Tokyo.

The Cranbrook Institute of Science has developed a complementary exhibit entitled “The Changing Earth,” to enhance the Cape Farewell experience. Covering the history of large-scale environmental changes as recorded in ice and sediment cores from Antarctica, Greenland and the glacial landscape of southeast Michigan, a special component of this exhibition about abrupt climate change examines the fate of the extinct American Mastodon community. Fossils from the Institute’s collections and other local Universities, as well as artifacts of Paleo-Indian mastodon hunters found in southeast Michigan, are featured. Visitors will have the opportunity to do their own analysis of a sediment core and directly examine rocks and fossils that tell the story of past climate shifts. The centerpiece of the exhibit is an assessment of the human footprint on planet Earth and how, for the first time in Earth’s history, humanity has emerged as a major agent of large-scale climate and environmental change and–closer to home–how global warming could affect the Great Lakes. A live and extinct fossil reef display in the exhibition emphasizes how climate change and human activity are pushing modern coral reefs to extinction.

“Cape Farewell: Art & Climate Change,” is the second exhibition in the Artology series collaborative between Cranbrook Institute of Science and Cranbrook Art Museum. Artology focuses on creating visual and experiential examples of the ways in which art and science frequently parallel or complement each other and offers exhibits and related lectures, films, and field trips that simultaneously immerse museum visitors in the arts and the sciences. While Cranbrook Art Museum is closed to the public for construction, art exhibitions at the Institute will be paired with related topical scientific artifacts, objects and specimens from the Institute’s collection to illustrate the Artology concept. A Cranbrook-designed Artology logo visually designates related events and activities.

The following series of lectures and special events will enrich the Cape Farewell and Changing Earth experience:

Opening day features a lecture by Dr. David M. Harwood, Department of Geosciences and ANDRILL Science Management Office University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who will present “Drilling Back to the Uncertain Future: The Andrill Project” on Sun., Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. This project involves more than 300 scientists, technicians, educators and students who have drilled two research holes in Antarctica both reaching a depth of more than 1,100 meters beneath the sea-floor.

On Feb. 12 at 7 p.m., Henry Pollack Ph. D., University of Michigan Professor and
co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President Al Gore will discuss his research and the potential consequences we face as ice masses disappear. Pollack will sign his book A World Without Ice following the lecture.

Artology Family Day: Cape Farewell on Sun., Mar. 7 from 1-4 p.m. offers family fun for lovers of both art and science! This event focuses on themes found in “Cape Farewell: Art & Climate Change,” and includes family tours of the exhibition and hands-on art-making activities led by Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate students.

David Buckland, Artist and Director/Curator of Cape Farewell, will present “Burning Ice: Art and Climate Change” on Tues., Apr. 6 at 6 p.m. Buckland’s lens-based works have been exhibited in galleries in London, Paris and New York and collected by numerous museums. Buckland will discuss the creation of the Cape Farewell project.

All Artology lectures and events are free with admission or Membership at Cranbrook Institute of Science or Cranbrook Art Museum.

For more information about the Cape Farewell expeditions, visit

Cape Farewell – Art & Climate Change runs through June 13, 2010 and is free with admission.

Artology exhibits, lectures and related events are sponsored by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, The Erb Family Foundation and the MASCO Corporation Foundation.

Cranbrook Art Museum is building for the future! In December 2008 we started a construction project that will result in the complete renovation of our landmark 1942 Eliel Saarinen-designed museum, including the installation of climate control and the addition of a new state-of-the-art Collections Wing. During construction, our galleries will be closed through Spring 2011 and we are collaborating with Cranbrook Institute of Science to present a pioneering year of collaborative exhibitions and programming called Artology, which showcases the work of artists whose practices intersect with science at a fundamental level.

Cranbrook Institute of Science is located at 39221 Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Cranbrook Institute of Science is open daily 10am-5pm with extended hours on Friday until 10pm. Museum admission is $9.50 adults, $7.50 children 2-12 and senior citizens (65+); children under 2 and members admitted free. Friday evening admission 5-10pm, $5.50 Adults, $4.50 children ages 2-12 and seniors 65+, children under 2 and Members are free. Planetarium and bat program tickets are $4 general admission; $3 for CIS and OBC members; $1 for children under 2. Non-members must also pay museum admission. For more information about becoming a member of Cranbrook Institute of Science call 248 645.3200 or visit