Artist Maya Lin Presents Major New Works Addressing Climate Change
On June 10, 2021, renowned artist, designer, and environmentalist Maya Lin discussed her recent works in an online event copresented by the Forum, the Center for the Study of Social Difference, School of the Arts, Columbia World Projects, and the Earth Institute. She spoke with Andrew Revkin, director of the Initiative on Communication Innovation and Impact at the Earth Institute. Watch the talk below.
Carol Becker, dean of the School of the Arts, introduced Lin: “Few creators move as intelligently, unexpectedly, and fluidly between architecture, art, science, the analytic, and the intuitive. Maya Lin is a rare artist, who has a very developed poetic sensibility, and creates sculptural, conceptual gestures in the public landscape to engage individuals and society in the important conversations about history, memory, the visuality and politics of representation, civil rights, the earth itself, and human interventions in nature.”
Lin was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2009, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence, and, later, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented to her by President Barack Obama in 2016, who praised her for a celebrated career in both art and architecture. Lin is also known for creating the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a sacred place of healing in Washington D.C.
Ghost Forest: The Devastation of Climate Change
Lin first discussed Ghost Forest, which is on display now through November 14, 2021 in Madison Square Park in New York City. Ghost Forest is a towering stand of 49 Atlantic white cedar trees, which symbolizes the devastation of climate change. The height of each tree—about 40 feet—overwhelms human scale and stands as a metaphor of the outsized impact of a looming environmental calamity.
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