July 25, 2012 - Ballroom Marfa - CARBON 13
July 25, 2012


Antony Gormley, BODYXXII, 2011. Carbon and
casein on paper, 111 x 77 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

presented in conjunction with
The Marfa Dialogues: Politics and Culture
of Climate & Sustainability

31 August 2012–17 February 2013
Opening: 31 August, 6–8pm

Ballroom Marfa
108 East San Antonio Street
Marfa, TX 79843


Ackroyd & HarveyAmy BalkinErika BlumenfeldDavid BucklandAdriane ColburnAntony GormleyCynthia HopkinsSunand Prasad

Hamilton FishDiana LivermanJohn Nielsen-GammonMichael PollanRobert PottsTom RandRebecca Solnit

Curated by David Buckland

“I think of art, at its most significant, as a DEW line, a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it.”  –Marshall McLuhan

Carbon 13 presents newly commissioned work by eight international artists who have focused the lens of their creativity to interrogate the reality of climate change. These new and daring works demonstrate that one salient image can speak louder than volumes of scientific data and capture the public’s imagination with an immediate and resonate voice. In conjunction with the opening of Carbon 13, Ballroom Marfa and the Washington Spectator are proud to present the second bi-annual Marfa Dialogues, a three-day symposium that includes conversations around climate change and sustainability with artists, performers, writers, scientists and entrepreneurs. Participants include: Hamilton Fish, Cynthia Hopkins, Diana Liverman, John Nielsen-Gammon, Michael Pollan, Robert Potts, Tom Rand and Rebecca Solnit.

With Carbon 13 and the Marfa Dialogues, Ballroom Marfa continues its ambitious mission of presenting art as a transforming media capable of addressing the most pressing issues of our time. In 2009, Ballroom Marfa Co-Founder and Executive Director, Fairfax Dorn, invited David Buckland, artist, Founder and Director of Cape Farewell, to curate a new exhibition with artists who have ventured to some of the world’s tipping points—the High Arctic, the Andes and Scotland’s island communities—all places profoundly stressed by our warming planet. These expeditions, each with scientists, artists and cultural interrogators aboard, are central to the Cape Farewell program. They pit the artists against the backdrop of raw and wild nature, inspiring engagement to stimulate and envision the necessary cultural shift to build a sustainable society.

From the High Arctic to the High Desert, the expedition to Marfa is an extension of Ballroom Marfa and Cape Farewell’s spirit of exploration and collaboration. While Ackroyd & Harvey document a mock British trial based on a fictionalized account of a major environmental disaster, Erika Blumenfeld works directly with carbon, collecting contraband to create an index of the fires that ravaged the Southwest over the past two years. Global architect Sunand Prasad uses balloons to demarcate one ton of carbon by volume and Amy Balkin explores the damage inflicted by carbon build up in reaching out to endangered island communities to create A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting Countries. New York performance artist Cynthia Hopkins performs ‘This Clement World’, a musical that sails through the burning ice and myths of the high arctic. Adriane Colburn exposes the deep, dark spaces of our energy production in installations that investigate relationships between human infrastructure, earth systems, technology and the natural world. David Buckland confronts our ever-growing human infrastructure by displaying an internal combustion engine in the form of a ready-made. Antony Gormley’s iconic drawing of an abstract carbon man anchors the show—underlining the power of artistic engagement to communicate, on a human scale, the urgency of global climate change.

Weekend schedule:

Friday, August 31, 2012
6–8pm: Carbon 13 opening at Ballroom Marfa
8–10pm: Community dinner at The Capri

Saturday, September 1, 2012
9:30am: FarmStand Marfa
10am: Marfa Lights Festival Parade
1pm: Discussion: Art and Environmental Activism, moderated by Rebecca Solnit at the Crowley Theater
3pm: Discussion: Climate Change and Adaptation, with Diana Liverman and John Nielsen-Gammon at the Crowley Theater
6pm: Michael Pollan in conversation with Hamilton Fish at the Crowley Theater, co-presented with Dixon Water Foundation

Sunday, September 2, 2012
9–11am: Brunch and guided nature walk on Mimms Ranch with Robert Potts
1pm: Reading by Rebecca Solnit at Marfa Book Company
3:30pm: Presentation by Tom Rand at Marfa Book Company
8pm: Performance of This Clement World by Cynthia Hopkins at the Crowley Theater

All events are free and open to the public. Seating is general admission and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, visit us at: www.ballroommarfa.org or www.capefarewell.com.

Carbon 13 and the Marfa Dialogues are supported by the inaugural Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Program, which supports fearless and innovative collaborations in the spirit of Robert Rauschenberg. Throughout his career Rauschenberg showed us the power of art to raise awareness about the environment and create change that would improve the quality of life, and Ballroom Marfa’s exhibition and symposium aim to continue that tradition apace.

Additional support has been made possible through the generous contributions of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Dixon Water Foundation, the Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston, Public Concern Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and Fredericka Hunter, with generous contributions by Ballroom Marfa members.

Special thanks to The Big Bend Sentinel, Rob Crowley, Jennifer Bell and Tim Crowley of the Crowley Theater, Hamilton Fish, Douglas Humble, Marfa Book Company, Marfa Public Radio, Marfa Recording Company, and Robert Potts.

Ballroom Marfa
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