PacSci Perspectives


Exploring Climate Change Through Performance Art

Feb 19, 2019

Ethan Campbell’s work on the effects of ocean circulation on Antarctic sea ice inspired the ‘Upwelling’ segment of CONVERSATIONS.

In the Pacific Northwest, we are tightly connected to our environment, and climate change is rapidly transforming it. To take action on climate change, we need to draw attention to the issues surrounding it, and to do so effectively, we need new and innovative methods of communication. To communicate climate change creatively using a cross-disciplinary approach, Pacific Science Center has collaborated with the Seattle-based 3rd Shift Dance company to explore climate change through performance art informed by local climate scientists. CONVERSATIONS explores a multitude of environmental impacts due to climate change: from the changes in oceanic current affecting the world’s temperatures to the favoring of select animal species and the mass extinction of others. We hope the performance enables audiences to see a familiar problem from a new perspective, reaches new audiences, and inspires conversation and action in our community. As climate change intensifies and snow covers Seattle in record amounts, it is more important than ever to have CONVERSATIONS.

On Saturday, March 2, Pacific Science Center and 3rd Shift Dance will debut CONVERSATIONS, an innovative, cross-disciplinary, and action-oriented performance choreographed by Xaviera Vandermay and featuring an original score by Justen Wayne Weber around the campus of Seattle Center. Starting at 11 a.m. outside Cornish Playhouse and finishing at 12:45 p.m. at Pacific Science Center, 3rd Shift Dance will move throughout Seattle Center, performing pieces inspired by the in-depth analyses of local climate scientists. CONVERSATIONS is sure to educate as much as it entertains.

This work is inspired by our conversations with University of Washington Graduate Student Ethan Campbell and will be presented in its final form at Pacific Science Center on March 2, 2019, as part of Curiosity Days: Climate Change. This work was made possible through a Class of 2019 Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator residency + 2019 Yaw Theater Company-in-Residency program.