A cultural companion to the Global Climate Action Summit, COAL + ICE is a provocative exploration of the consequences of climate change and a dialogue about solutions.
SAN FRANCISCO – COAL + ICE made its U.S. debut yesterday at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture and will run until September 23. Following successful showings across China and Paris, COAL + ICE has transformed Fort Mason into a 50,000 square‐foot immersive documentary photography and video exhibition ahead of California Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit.
Free and open to the public, COAL + ICE visually traces the trajectory of climate change — from coal mines and the burning of fossil fuels to the melting Himalayan glaciers, rising sea level and extreme weather events — bringing the environmental and human costs of man‐made climate change to life through images, videos and thought‐provoking events.
“To tackle climate change we need to be bold, innovative and inclusive. This is the driving force behind COAL + ICE and our journey from Beijing in 2011 to San Francisco in 2018,” said Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S. China Relations at the Asia Society and Executive Producer of COAL + ICE. “The interdependence of the U.S. and China is at the heart of this exhibition, and crucial to understanding how global cooperation is needed to harness sustainable solutions. As we open in the U.S. for the first time, we’ve brought together artists, activists, scientists, poets, musicians and policy experts to offer new perspectives and avenues of engagement to spark insight and activism.”
Co‐curated by renowned artist Susan Meiselas and designer Jeroen de Vries, COAL + ICE features the works of more than 40 international photographers and video artists who collectively illuminate the trajectory of climate change. Photographers include American mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears, Chinese photographers Geng Yunsheng and Song Chao, as well as recent work by Gideon Mendel, Kadir van Lohuizen, Nichole Sobecki and Matt Black, among others. The exhibition also features a new work by multimedia artist Clifford Ross, Light Waves II, comprising two 18 x 18 foot LED walls.
The exhibition ends with reasons to be hopeful, culminating in an interactive solutions zone designed by the Humans of Tomorrow, a team from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. Attendees can exhale onto algae that “breathes” carbon dioxide, view stunning aerial images of clean energy projects in California, and learn about futuristic climate solutions.
Acclaimed vegetarian restaurant Greens also offers a rare pop‐up at COAL + ICE. A steward of sustainability, Greens will serve a cafe‐style menu using the best ingredients from Green Gulch Farm and other local farmers. Over the next few weeks, thousands of attendees are expected to visit the exhibition and attend special events with luminaries within the space and throughout the city.
● Spotlight on Climate Solutions: Dialogues on climate solutions featuring former Vice President Al Gore, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, UC Berkeley’s Dr. Laura Tyson and former Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd.
● COAL + ICE at the San Francisco Symphony: Renowned pianist Yuja Wang joins the San Francisco Symphony and vocalist Abigail Washburn in Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand enhanced by projections from the COAL + ICE exhibition.
● Youth v. Climate: An Intergenerational Event: An inspiring afternoon of dialogue with young leaders fighting for the planet. Additionally, 8‐year‐old science podcaster Nate Butkus interviews famous oceanographer Sylvia Earle and explorer Captain Don Walsh.
● Climate Comedy Night: Beloved Bay Area satirist Will Durst and friends Diane Amos, Nato Green, and Johnny Steele share perspectives on climate change in an evening of stand up and storytelling. Tickets are free, but donations will be collected for those displaced by the recent Carr Fire in Redding, California.
● Mozart and the Angry Oceans: Director Peter Sellars and rising star Ying Fang explore the layers of meaning of Mozart’s Idomeneo in this late‐night musical working session.
● Youth Speaks: Nationally acclaimed young poets will perform their original spoken word pieces on the theme of climate change at a one‐night only performance.
● The Fire Tapes: A Special Storytelling Event from Snap Judgment and KQED: Survivors and first responders of the October 2017 firestorm, one of the most destructive fires in California’s history, share their stories and explore the environmental conditions that made it so deadly.
For a full listing of events, visit coalandice.org.
About The COAL + ICE Project
The COAL + ICE Project is a three‐week documentary photography and video exhibition and series of cultural events taking place at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture September 4‐23, 2018. COAL + ICE illuminates the trajectory of climate change and amplifies the discussion about solutions. COAL + ICE is a project of the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.‐China Relations in collaboration with Asia Society Northern California. COAL + ICE was first developed as a documentary photography exhibition for Three Shadows Photography Art Center in Beijing in 2011 and has been shown across China and in Paris at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence during COP21.
About Asia Society
Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to address a range of challenges facing Asia and the rest of the world. Asia Society has cultural centers and public buildings in New York, Hong Kong, and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, Tokyo, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Washington, D.C., and Zurich. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, Asia Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration between Asia and the world.
Lead support for COAL + ICE is provided by Crankstart Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Major support is provided by Mountain Philanthropy Partners, Blum Family Foundation, C Team, John Andrew McQuown, Parnassus Investments, Southern California Edison, Jack and Susy Wadsworth, Vanke Foundation, and Anonymous.