The multimedia exhibition includes 10 projects from a dozen faculty, student and community fellows who use art to confront the global climate crisis.
NYU Libraries presents *This Is Not A Drill*, an exhibition of faculty, student and community artists running Sept. 20–Dec. 4 on the eighth floor of the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South. The 12 artists explore the connections between the climate crisis and social inequality through art, technology, creativity, and activism.
The global climate emergency is affecting communities large and small with devastating wildfires, record-breaking heat waves, and dangerous flooding. Although technology is often considered the solution, the exhibition questions its role in increasing inequality and environmental harm. The projects on view suggest art and creative practice are critical to addressing the global crisis.
The 2023 *This Is Not A Drill* cohort includes Faculty Fellows Amanda Belantara, David Brooks, Sharon De La Cruz, Benedetta Piantella, and Yeseul Song, Community Fellows andrea haenggi and Jake Zaslav, and Student Fellows Ana Anu Wyssmann, Briana Jones and Lily Yu, and Mary Mark Markhvida and Dror Margalit. Fellows receive stipends for their projects and investigations.
*This Is Not A Drill* is a project of NYU’s Future Imagination Fund at the Tisch School of the Arts. It is led by Mona Sloane, formerly of NYU who is now Professor of Data Science and Media Studies at the University of Virginia. The exhibition is the culmination of the year-long program, and the second to be hosted by Bobst. The first was presented last fall.
“This year’s *This Is Not A Drill* exhibition hits at a key moment—2023 has shown that the climate emergency is very palpable for all of us. The works of our artists critically examine how we got here, and where we might go,” Sloane said. “We are particularly proud to have been able to fund a cohort of 12 artists which includes faculty artists and student artists, and for the first time, community artists.”
The exhibition features film, performance art, sound art, and sculpture that examine the climate crisis from various academic lenses and artistic practices. For example, Amanda Belantara’s installation, Kinokophone: The Mycelium of Sound Spores, asks visitors to consider climate change and noise pollution through sound. Sharon De La Cruz, a storyteller and activist who is an assistant professor at the Tisch School of the Arts, uses virtual reality to recover the history and joy of Seabreeze-Freeman Beach, a coastal leisure town for Blacks in North Carolina.
For Death Mask for Landscape, interdisciplinary artist David Brooks, a professor at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study, used a drone to scan sections of Amazonian forests before they were cut down, and then created 3D models from the scans and cast them in aluminum. The series of reliefs memorialize once vibrant forests that have been razed.
Delancey 2222, from Jake Zaslav and collaborator and violinist Cate Byrne, is an immersive work of sound and visuals that imagines the Lower East Side of the future. Other projects use video, film and interactive installations to examine the effects of melting glaciers, showcase the potential of local education and community resilience, and critique digital fabrication and western capitalism.
“We are delighted to host the second exhibition of the incredible work of these fellows,” said H. Austin Booth, NYU Dean of the Division of Libraries. "The library is an innovative, inclusive environment for teaching and learning, and we are pleased to foster an environment that showcases the creativity of our students and faculty."
Created by NYU Trustee and Tisch alumna Sharon Chang, the Future Imagination Fund at the Tisch School of the Arts seeks to foster collaboration and discovery through interdisciplinary and inter-sectional research. The multidisciplinary projects from these fellows showcase the fund’s unique approach.
“The upcoming *This Is Not A Drill* exhibition is a valuable showcase for creators who are wielding art and technology as tools for change,” said Allyson Green, Dean of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. “We know that the climate emergency demands inventive and unprecedented solutions, and this exhibition begins to realize some of the creative possibilities for a more equitable and sustainable future. We are honored to present the innovative work of this year’s cohort of faculty and community fellows.”
An opening reception is Sept. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. Information and registration for the free event can be found here.
About the NYU Division of Libraries
The NYU Division of Libraries comprises five libraries in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn, and one each in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Its flagship, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on Washington Square, received 3 million visits last year. The Libraries’ online catalog provides access to a world of content, such as millions of book volumes, e-books, serial titles, oral histories, and documents from more than 43,000 linear feet of archives. For more information about the NYU Libraries, please visit library.nyu.edu.
About the Tisch School of the Arts
For over 50 years, the NYU Tisch School of the Arts has drawn on the vast artistic and cultural resources of New York City and New York University to create an extraordinary training ground for the individual artist and scholar of the arts. Today, students learn their craft in a spirited, risk-taking environment that combines the professional training of a conservatory with the liberal arts education of a premier global university with campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and 11 academic centers around the world. Learn more at tisch.nyu.edu.