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Climate Futures: Creatives in Conversation

Saturday, March 9
10 AM

Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs
701 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

A conversation with Hans Baumann, Desert X 2023 artist Lauren Bon, Christian Rodriguez Ceja, and Debra Scacco, whose climate-related work and expertise spanning across visual art, poetry, urban planning, and policy will fuel us to imagine alternative hopeful futures. Moderated by Desert X Curatorial Liaison Edwin Ramoran.

Hans Baumann is a Swiss-American artist, designer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. His work reflects upon ecological collapse, the dynamics of climate change, and the materiality of energy practices. His essays and projects have appeared in a variety of publications, including e-flux architecture, The Invention of the American Desert: Art, Land and the Politics of Environment (University of California Press) and Accumulation: The Art, Architecture, and Media of Climate Change (University of Minnesota Press), and his work has been supported by institutions such as the Getty Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and Sandbox Films.

Lauren Bon is an environmental artist from Los Angeles, CA. Her practice, Metabolic Studio, explores self-sustaining and self-diversifying systems of exchange that feed emergent properties that regenerate the life web. Some of her works include: Not A Cornfield, which transformed and revived an industrial brownfield in downtown Los Angeles into a thirty-two-acre cornfield for one agricultural cycle; 100 Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a 240-mile performative action that aimed to reconnect the city of Los Angeles with the source of its water. Her studio’s current work, Bending the River, aims to utilize Los Angeles’ first private water right to deliver 106-acre feet of water annually from the LA River to over 50 acres of land in the historic core of downtown LA. This model can be replicated to regenerate the 52-mile LA River, reconnect it to its floodplain and form a citizens’ utility. Recently, Lauren Bon & Metabolic Studio presented The Smallest Sea With the Largest Heart as part of Desert X 2023. The project has been moved to a platform in the Salton Sea and can be viewed through a live camera here.

Christian Rodriguez Ceja is the Senior Community Associate at the Coachella office of Kounkuey Design Initiative, a community development and design nonprofit working with under-resourced communities to design and build productive public spaces, integrating basic infrastructure, open space, and programming to meet social, economic, and environmental needs. Rodriguez works with community members on a daily basis to develop programming and advocate for environmental justice.

Debra Scacco’s research-based practice spans the creation of studio works, installations, public art, curating, teaching, writing, community engagement and oral history. Rooted in personal experiences of immigration, she re-envisions the visible and invisible lines that seek to establish boundaries of access and understanding. Working at the intersection of history, culture and environment, her work connects policy to people by highlighting individual stories impacted by entrenched political structures.

Edwin Ramoran is Curatorial Liaison at Desert X where he was last year’s inaugural Curatorial Fellow. He is a Director of Development and Sustainability at We Are One United. His previous positions include Manager of Public Programs and Community Engagement at The Studio Museum in Harlem; Assistant Curator, The Bronx Museum of the Arts; Director and Curator, Longwood Arts Project / Bronx Council on the Arts; and Director of Exhibitions and Programs, Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art. He was a director at Royale Projects. He has also served as a commissioner for the Human Rights Commission of Palm Springs. He volunteers as an organizer for Bayanihan Desert that focuses on cultural and civic engagement with and for Filipinx communities. He organized the group exhibition Gallery Aferro: Dignity and Beauty which is currently on view at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, and recently moderated the program “In Conversation with artist David Antonio Cruz and curator Monique Long” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.