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Tilt Video Series / Episode 2

Soil As Black Gold

Soil health directly affects our way of life. Within “Soil as Black Gold,” we look at how soil becomes foundational to an art & science practice. We follow SFAI Changing Climate resident Esha Chiocchio’s use of film & photography as a vehicle to document the environmental conservation work of various farming communities throughout the Southwest. We then look at how understanding soil biogeochemistry becomes a part of environmental physicist Dr. Sanna Sevanto’s vegetation-climate research work Los Alamos National Laboratories.

This episode also features work by Changing Climate artists-in-residence, including Margaret LeJeune, Kei Ito, Sonja Peterson, Katie Kehoe, Ashley Colley, and Jess Zeglin.

Launch Date

July 18, 2023
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Episode Featured Guests

Esha Chiocchio

Changing Climate Artist in Residence

Esha Chiocchio is a photographer and filmmaker who uses her combined knowledge of visual storytelling and sustainable communities to inspire social change. An optimistic realist, she is focused on solutions to social and environmental challenges. Her current project, Good Earth, highlights agrarians from diverse sectors who are revitalizing land and drawing carbon into the soil through regenerative practices.

She has photographed around the world for publications, non-profits, and commercial clients, including National Geographic, High Country News, Jardins du Monde, and Bonefish Grill. She is the president of the board of The Global Warming Express (a kids’ climate organization) and serves on the board of the New Mexico chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers. She has BAs in Anthropology and French from the University of Colorado, an MA in Sustainable Communities from Goddard College, studied/worked/taught at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa.

Sanna Sevanto

Spark Fellow

Dr. Sanna Sevanto is an environmental physicist and team leader of Landscape and Ecosystem Dynamics and Resilience team at Los Alamos National Laboratory. After receiving her PhD in environmental physics from the University of Helsinki, Finland, she expanded her knowledge on biological systems as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.

In her research Dr. Sevanto has focused on vegetation-climate interactions, and vegetation stress responses with most recent projects aiming at developing methods to produce microbial consortia to improve soil health and alleviate drought stress in plants. With over 90 influential peer-reviewed publications, she was ranked in top 1% of most cited scientists in her field by ISI Web of Science

Video Series Host & Creator

kelechi agwuncha, SFAI Creative Production Manager

kelechi agwuncha is an Igbo-American video artist, filmmaker, and sound artist who uses a structuralist approach to create a set of interventions and reconstructions of sports & bodily movement that become rehearsals of play. Using techniques of expanded cinema they also construct black imagery alongside theatrical and/or musical performances; this is otherwise known as VJing or video jockeying.