Anna Macleod is a visual artist and independent researcher based in Ireland. Her projects utilize a variety of processes to mediate complex ideas associated with contemporary, historical and cultural readings of place. She employs quasi-scientific methodologies, trans-disciplinary collaboration, performance and socially engaged activism to critique contemporary landscapes and to build metaphoric spaces for re-visioning the future.‘Water Conversations’ is the umbrella term for an ongoing series of projects Macleod has been working on since 2007. Articulated as a series of actions, posters & zines, small sculptures, digital images, video, sound, drawings and public interventions, the project explores the complex interstices between landscape, science and technology, culture and geopolitics. The collaborative aspect of the work has led to working partnerships with local community members, artists, scientists, cultural geographers, activists and engineers. To date, ‘Water Conversations’ projects have taken place in Spain, Ghana, West Africa, various sites in Northern India; Colorado, USA; Ireland; Gobi Desert, Mongolia; Broken Hill Artist Exchange, New South Wales and Sydney, Australia. Anna Macleod is a former lecturer in Fine Art Media at Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland.
Asha Canalos is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, community organizer and climate justice advocate. Her work is focused on colonization; social justice; hybrid communities; and the borders of natural and urban worlds. In 2011, Canalos began working as a community organizer, when a fracked gas compressor station was proposed near her farm in Minisink, NY. Canalos served as a press coordinator/organizer from 2011-2015, and delegate to meetings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She was one of ten community members elected to represent Minisink in federal court, during which she created a body of textual, visual and video documentation, and was awarded a grant for her work by writer/activist Eve Ensler. Canalos moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2015. There she continues to create interdisciplinary social history-based work, and to help collaboratively develop art, writing and public outreach interventions for communities facing take-overs by the oil and gas industry.
David Janesko’s work concerns how humans make sense of the world. One specific interest is the ways in which we physically change the Earth and how we define ourselves in terms of those changes. Janesko received a BS in Geosciences from Penn State University and a MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Dr. Fiona P. McDonald is the 2016-2019 Postdoctoral Researcher at the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Arts and Humanities Institute. Fiona is the co-founder of Ethnographic Terminalia Collective (ETC), an international curatorial collective that curates exhibitions at the intersections of arts and anthropology. ETC have curated and organized exhibitions and workshops across North America where they aim to move academic research beyond the academy through public engagement. Fiona’s research interests are: water, energy studies, indigenous material and visual culture, repatriation, oral histories, contemporary indigenous art, curatorial theory, performance theory, and museum studies.
Issa Nyaphaga is a cartoonist, and a multi-media artist based in the U.S., who is globally known as a human rights activist from Cameroon West/central Africa)8. His work has inspired the human spirit of thousands of people in dozens of countries. Issa Nyaphaga is convinced that the power of art can save lives.
‘Thought is an endless game. External sources fuel it’s endless hallways of language, image and connotation – feeding my desire to dig into the unconventional sublime; a personal experience, a something, so subtle, that can amaze. It is the beautiful in the ugly and the universal in the personal. It is the way I choose to see the world. A romantic state of mind. Representing not the overwhelming ocean view or the erupting volcano, but rather the self, the other and the surrounding.’
Mary Bruno has a masters degree in aquatic ecology and more than 25 years as a writer, editor and editorial director for a variety of print and online publications, including Newsweek, Seattle Weekly, ABCNEWS.com and Grist.org. In June 2015 she left her job as Editor-in-chief and Publisher of Seattle-based Crosscut.com to work on a nonfiction book about aquifers. The aquifer book is her second. The first – An American River – is an environmental memoir about growing up along NJ’s Passaic River.
Detroit artist Megan Heeres makes installations and kinetic art that experiment with matters of tending, time, humor, chance and place. She begins each work by constructing controlled environments in which materials are able to act as they may and then she responds to their natural state of being. Megan also encourages audience participation because she believes wholeheartedly in art education, accessibility, and interactivity. She has witnessed that the more people engage with art in a tangible way, the more support and holistic understanding for “the Arts” they obtain.
Rulan Tangen’s dance journey centers around the founding of DANCING EARTH CREATIONS (DE) in 2004. After years of teaching dance workshops to reservation youth, she strove to create hope and opportunity for aspiring performers, theater artists and technicians, who also serve as culture carriers, art educators, and leaders. Dancing Earth has thus inspired a new generation of Indigenous performers to express their culture in vital contemporary and experimental forms. Her professional experience spans international ballet, modern dance, opera, circus, film and television production. Surviving cancer to discover her leadership purpose, Tangen continues to teach extensively in Native communities across the Americas, as well as institutes of higher learning. With a vision for inclusion, she cultivates a new generation of Native dancers, through creative practice that explores intertribal diversity. Many of her students have danced with the company, crediting the work to have empowered their identity as well as their scope of artistic aspiration. Her work values movement as an expression of indigenous worldview, honoring matriarchal leadership, dance as functional ritual for transformation and healing, the process of decolonizing the body, and the animistic energetic connection with all forms of life on earth. She has recruited and nurtured a new generation of Indigenous contemporary dancers and holds the belief that ” to dance is to live, to live is to dance”.
Scott Kildall is cross-disciplinary artist who writes algorithms that transform various datasets into 3D sculptures and installations. The resulting artworks often invite public participation through direct interaction. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the New York Hall of Science, Transmediale, the Venice Biennale, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the San Jose Museum of Art. He has received fellowships, awards and residencies from organizations including the SETI Institute. ZERO1, Impakt Works, Autodesk, Recology San Francisco, Turbulence.org, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, Kala Art Institute and The Banff Centre for the Arts. He resides in San Francisco and is currently researching water rights on this planet and beyond.
The Virginia River Healers are a civil disobedient environmental group. The Healers use science, prayer, and group tactics to monitor local waterways, gain information about industrial waste sites, and defend environmental rights.