Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES



Ongoing Sessions

April 1-June 30


Exhibition, Air America
Curated by Joyce Chaplin, James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History, Harvard University

Though it is mostly invisible to us, we need air—please remember to breathe as you read this. Necessary to life, hard to grasp, air became a  powerful metaphor and an actual source of power for life in the new world. Europeans used the wind to get to America, then worried that its air was bad for them (mal-aria). Indian, European, and African peoples of the Americas played and sang musical airs, even operatic arias. Colonists made money from tobacco smoke and from wind-powered sugar-mills. In America, squirrels flew and the Virgin (of Guadalupe) hovered in midair. Soaring eagles represented new American nations. And new world natural phenomena shaped new conceptions of climate that continue to inform debates about life on Earth today.
John Carter Brown Library                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

April 25-May 6


Sound Installation, Oscillator Pond: Analog Critters in a Digital Pool
Jim Moses, Lecturer and Technical Director, Department of Music
In coordination with the Brown University MEME Program
Audio Sample 

The critter sounds that populate Oscillator Pond were made on a rare and historic analog synthesizer - an Arp 2500 made in the 1970’s. Organic sounding rhythms and creature-like tones were generated on the the Arp and then captured digitally. The critter sounds are triggered with custom software using probability and random processes to create a surreal and unpredictable soundscape that changes through the day. Visitors can interrupt this “organic mode” to hear specific critter sounds and activate some special playback modes.
IBES Greenhouse                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

April 28-30


Sound Installations, Room Tones
Ed Osborn, Associate Professor, Visual Art Department, and students

Sound installations works by students enrolled in Site & Sound.                                                                                                                                                                    
Granoff Center
John Carter Brown Library                                                                             

Sound Installation, Rainforest Listening
Leah Barclay, Griffith University, Australia

Rainforest Listening is an augmented reality installation that layers rainforest soundscapes in urban environments to inspire ecological engagement. Listeners access the sounds via mobile devices and sculpt their own experience by triggering geolocated soundscapes as they walk through iconic locations across the world. 
Accessed via mobile devices

April 29-30


Sound Installation, A Hundred Thousand
Brian House,  PhD candidate, Computer Music and Multimedia, Department of Music 

A Hundred Thousand derives from a sound recording made in Botswana while on an expedition through 1,500 miles of the Okavango river system with a multinational team of scientists and members of the regional Ba'Yei community in support of conservation, scientific, and environmental justice initiatives.
Granoff Center
Studio 2                                                                                                                                

One-Day Sessions

Thursday, April 28

4:00pm Event Registration
IBES Main Foyer
5:00pm Keynote Lecture, Dr. Mwangi Githiru, Director of Biodiversity and Social Monitoring at Wildlife Works, Kenya
Atmospheres: A story of space and connexion, thresholds and infinity, despair and promise, A story of life
Chair: Jim Russell, IBES Fellow, Associate Professor of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences
IBES 130
6:00pm Poster Session
IBES Main Foyer
6:30pm      Reception
Book Launch, Birders of Africa: History of a Network, by Nancy Jacobs, Associate Professor of History, Brown University
IBES 101                                                                                  

Magic Lantern Cinema presents “Visual Climates”
Facebook page.

With growing urgency, the world turns its attention to how environmental crises unfold from local to global scales. An enduring concern in addressing ecological problems centres on how the human being perceives the world with the limitations of senses that fail to capture the complex operations of our whole surroundings. This program presents a collection of visual experiments and documents that seek to explore the unknown, imperceptible, micro and macro worlds of our shared ecology.  
Cable Car Cinema
204 South Main St.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Friday, April 29


Campus Birdwalk, led by Scott Turner, Director of Web Communications, Brown University

Late April in Providence is usually when songbirds, from hummingbirds to warblers and vireos, begin to show up in both variety and numbers on their spring migration north, and post dawn is when most birds typically sing. We will head for the local birding “hotspot,” the trees and shrubs around Woods-Gerry House (RISD Admission Office) on Prospect Street to meet and greet both migrant and resident birds. 
Begins outside IBES
85 Waterman Street
10:00am Welcome Address
Neil Safier, Director of the John Carter Brown Library
John Carter Brown Library
10:15am Panel 1: The Politics of Wind
Chair: Leah VanWey, Interim Director of IBES, Associate Professor of Sociology
Lawrence English, Relational Listening: The Politics of Perception
Cymene Howe, Wind Species
Bina Venkataraman, Windspeed: Bridging planetary and political time horizon
John Carter Brown Library

Lunch and Poster Session

The posters, paintings and videos, from undergraduate and graduate students across disciplines at Brown, include descriptions of scientific research, paintings, and other ways of engaging with questions of environment, climate, ecology and atmosphere. 
IBES Main Foyer

Chair: Dov Sax, Deputy Director (Teaching) of IBES, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Ignite! is a new innovation, in which faculty and graduate students will present work using PowerPoint in short format – with each presentation lasting around 6-8 minutes. This, like other events, is open to the public and is intended to inspire. 
IBES 130
2:30pm Panel 2: Air and Illness
Chair: Lenore Manderson, Conference Convenor, Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies
Bernadette Ramirez, How Climate Change Shapes Health Risk

Tongzhang Zeng, Air pollution & human health in China: Establishment of a nationwide monitoring networK
Garth Paine, Ears on the World

John Carter Brown Library
4:15pm Break and Afternoon Tea
John Carter Brown Library

Theatre Performance, Drift
Wendy Woodson, Roger C. Holden 1919 Professor of Theater and Dance, Amherst College and the Five College Dance Department

Drift is a work in progress, a performance free association monologue that travels through myriad images, associations and thoughts about atmospheres and the weather. It is written and performed by artist Wendy Woodson.
John Carter Brown Library                                                                                                                               

Saturday, April 30

9:00am-7:30pm Sound Installations, Room Tones
Granoff Center
3:00pm Panel 3: Conservation Concerns
Chair: Nancy Jacobs, Associate Professor of History
Michael J. Hathaway, Winds: A Way to Understand Globalization Differently

Scott Turner, Writing for a Breath of Fresh Air
Leah Barclay, Changing Soundscapes and the Biosphere 
Granoff Center
Martinos Audiorium 
4:45pm Closing Remarks
5:00pm Reception
Granoff Center
Ground Floor Lobby

Concert, Air Fields
Music and sound art performances
Leah Barclay, Lawrence English, Garth Paine

Pieces by three artists who work with soundscape and field recordings as a central part of their practice are presented in a multichannel listening environment. Leah Barclay’s Temporal Encounters (2016) explores a series of field recordings from UNESCO biosphere reserves across the world. Garth Paine’s Now (2016) is an exploration of a practice he calls “ecological listening.” Lawrence English’s Viento (2015) is built from recordings made during wind storms in Patagonia and Antarctica. 
Granoff Center
Studio 1                                                   

Click here for full participant bios and abstracts.

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