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The Ruby is a catalyst for creativity and a home for making art at Duke.
Date & Time
April 29, 2021 at 2:00 pm3:00 pm
Join on Zoom

Join us for a virtual opening reception of “Spectral Seas,” an installation completed by the Bass Connections team “Arts and the Anthropocene: Crisis and Resilience in North Carolina Waterways.”

“Spectral Seas” is a woven piece made with recycled and reused materials, depicting an interpretation of a graph predicting future scenarios of sea level rise. The installation is currently on view until May 2 in the main lobby of the Rubenstein Arts Center, between the von der Heyden Studio Theater and room 124.

About the Team

Bass Connections projects, courses, and summer programs give Duke students a chance to tackle complex societal problems alongside faculty. The 2020-21 project team “Arts and the Anthropocene: Crisis and Resilience in North Carolina Waterways” explored how the arts can play a role in public advocacy and education in support of meaningful climate change interventions. The team was lead by Raquel Salvatella de Prada and Jonathan Henderson.

The Anthropocene has been framed by scholars and activists as the current geological period during which human activity has had a fundamental influence on the climate and environment. Coastal communities in North Carolina are grappling with how to plan for and respond to monumental changes in ecological systems that are causing storm surge, sea level rise, flooding and contamination. Life in coastal communities is precarious.

The “Arts and the Anthropocene” project team spent last semester listening to local scientists, artists, and environmental activists and researching climate change, the Anthropocene, and environmental humanities and justice. They then imagined how arts-based interventions might best illuminate or reimagine various ecological and social relationships of urgency here in North Carolina.

"Spectral Seas" on view in the Ruby's lobby.
A close up, in-process view of the weaving with plastic yarn (plarn) that is the basis of the artwork.

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