From Michigan State University

deadline February 4th, 2022 || details


The Anthropocene refers to the current (geological) period distinguished by the extraordinary impact of humankind on the earth. Often, it is used to call attention to the gravest challenges of the near and distant future, involving climate, ecosystems, and people and to encapsulate the time leading, perhaps unstoppably, to the extinction of life on the planet. What steps can we take, and how can we motivate ourselves enough to take them, to halt this epoch’s depredation of the earth? And how can we create a sustainable and respectful relationship with the earth and its ecosystems and its other lifeforms? This question looms over everything else transpiring in the physical and social world.

The impacts associated with a temperature increase of 1.5°C (the target limit set out in the Paris Agreement) above pre-industrial levels would be severe. Such a rise could seem like a distant reality, but we may reach it sooner than we think. Can we stop short of 1.5° Celsius?

Possible Themes and Topics

Can we retire fossil fuel and turn to electrification? What has COVID shown us about the animal kingdom’s ability to respond to different levels of human activity? What role could technology play in reversing destructive trends and practices of the past? What can be learned from Indigenous cultures and practices to create a vision and sustain a gentler, more desirable impact? What kinds of social organization and collaborative practices could move us in a less catastrophic direction?

Curatorial Team MSU Science Gallery creates exhibitions specifically aimed at young people, although of interest to all.

1.5° Celsius (the Anthropocene) will be shaped by the curatorial team that will be made up of seven active artists, scientists, and thought leaders, and will be advised by MSU Science Gallery’s youth advisory board, staff, and advisors

Julie Libarkin, was appointed Associate Dean for STEM Education Research and Innovation in the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education in 2021. She heads the Geocognition Research Laboratory at Michigan State University, where she investigates how people perceive, understand, and make decisions about the Earth. Julie has received a number of grants related to geocognition, science education research, and tectonics, and has led the development of the Geoscience Concept Inventory, and has served as external evaluator or researcher for several NSF, NASA, or NIH-funded projects.

Amy Butler, the Director of Sustainability for Michigan State University providing a holistic and sustainable approach to developing the talent for the knowledge economy. She has also served as a program coordinator in the VIPP program and is a recognized international speaker on Michigan energy policy, sustainability, and economic transformation policies. She has delivered presentations in many countries including; Sweden, Czech Republic, Japan, Italy, Greece, and Turkey.

Hadley Griffin, currently a senior at Michigan State University, where she is studying art history and chemical engineering. Hadley has been a mediator with Science Gallery for four years, where she enjoys creating an open dialogue with visitors as well as being able to combine her interests of STEM and art.

Abhishek Narula, Department of Art, Art History, and Design at MSU, is a conceptual artist, hacker, and educator. His practice-based research explores the complex relationship between technology, society, and culture. His interactive installations, performances, and interventions invite reflection on how we use technology and how technology uses us. An honorary board member of the Open Source Hardware Association, Abhishek is a hardware junkie, an avid DIY’er, and an open-source advocate. His research has been shared through exhibitions, publications, and presentations nationally and internationally.

Antajuan Scott, Head of Programming at MSU Science Gallery, is a cultural producer focused on participatory and collaborative engagements. His multidisciplinary background includes performance, independent curation and programming; exploring and intersecting the worlds of art, science and culture

Devon Akmon, Director of MSU Science Gallery has over fifteen years of experience in nonprofit management, as well as extensive expertise in arts administration, curatorial practice, and community building through the arts. He served as a Senior Consultant with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management and as Director of the Arab American National Museum. He is a board member of the American Alliance of Museums, Artspace, and CultureSource.

Mark Sullivan, Creative Director of MSU Science Gallery Detroit is a composer, photographer, and a faculty member at MSU. His music compositions and photographs have been presented globally. For the last three decades he has concentrated on nurturing collisions between the arts and sciences, using technology in creative processes, especially with young people in urban centers.

SEND US YOUR PROPOSAL TO BE IN THIS EXHIBITION! Experimentation, provocation, and research are at the heart of MSU SG’s values and programs. This exhibition will explore the problems and dangers of the Anthropocene and responses to counteract those, through the lens of artists, psychologists, story tellers, digital gamers, molecular biologists, performers, neuroscientists, designers, computer scientists, nurses, engineers, musicians, mathematicians, architects, and young people.