Sunday Salon: Storytelling in the Anthropocene

This event is part of Katie Holten’s solo exhibition for A PROCESS SERIES II at RAWSON PROJECTS
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Since 2014 Dillon Cohen and Katie Holten have been hosting Sunday Salons at their home to discuss the possibilities for culture and activism in the Anthropocene. Guests have included Roy Scranton (Learning to Die in the Anthropocene), Jennifer Jacquet (Shame in the Anthropocene), Dale Jamieson (Love in the Anthropocene). Since the election they have hosted War and Peace in the Anthropocene at the Forward Union Fair with Gregory Schwedock (Climate Mobilization), Sashti Balasundaram (We Radiate), and artists Ellen Harvey and Paul Miller; and Looking Back to our Future: winning the battle by being armed with climate change facts with paleontologist Stephen Pekar.

In this salon at Abrons, we will discuss the possibilities for truth and storytelling in the current climate. We see that language and historical memory are really failing us — both in political discourse and around it. 

The point of departure for the conversation will be presentations by Sarah Resnick and Wendy Tronrud.

Sarah will introduce Triple Canopy’s Speculations (“The future is ______”), a collection of speculations on the future by more than sixty writers, artists, scientists, activists, economists, and technologists. These speculations were first presented in 2013 as part of a fifty-day series of lectures, discussions, and debates at MoMA PS1 for the exhibition EXPO 1: New York. The speculations were to be optimistic, even if that optimism were skeptical or dark. The book, arranged as a lexicon of the series’ central ideas, was published by Triple Canopy in 2015. Wendy will lead a breakout session with writing exercises to create some words, thoughts, stories, or songs to take out onto the streets. 

Dillon Cohen is an artist and impact investor. He co-founded Carlin Ventures, an investment firm, and is Director of The Blessing Way Foundation, which supports progressive initiatives in the arts, environment, education, and economic development on Indian reservations. He serves on the boards of Protocinema and Community-Word Project, and has served on the boards of Creative Time, Artist as Citizen, and Computers for Youth.

Katie Holten is an artist. In 2003 she represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale. Committed to social causes, especially as they pertain to environmental issues, she makes drawings, sculptures, installations, books, public artworks, ephemeral actions and often works on-site to explore the history, ecology, and other invisible aspects of an environment. At the root of her practice is a fascination with the contingency of man-made and organic systems. 

Sarah Resnick is a writer and a contributing editor of Triple Canopy. She codeveloped Speculations (“The future is ______”) in 2013 and later translated the series into book form. She lives in New York.

Wendy Tronrud is an educator and a doctoral candidate in nineteenth century American and African-American literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. She teaches at Queens College and works as a Writing Associate at Cooper Union.

A Process Series II is a series of four mini solo exhibitions organized by Jessamyn Fiore for Rawson Projects. In the urgency of the current political situation the artists have been invited to reflect on how politics influences their artistic practice and were asked “what is inspiring you now?”

Presented as part of RAWSON PROJECTS’ A PROCESS SERIES II