Intersections of Art and Science

May 24, 2023

Screenshot from Dolly Parton - World On Fire (From The 58th ACM Awards via youtube).

Dolly Parton’s new song is a climate anthem (if you want it to be) – the Grist

In the video for her new song, “World On Fire,” Dolly Parton sits atop a burning world. Blond hair piled and coiffed, her black dress glittering, she looks down into a pit of flames burning the earth. The song rocks a little harder than her usual feathery country oeuvre, and over a driving beat, she lets you know she’s about to get political.

Now I ain’t one for speaking out much

But that don’t mean I don’t stay in touch

Everybody’s trippin’ over this or that

What we gonna do when we all fall flat?

Dolly spends the next four minutes outlining the sorry state of the world, or at least the nation, punctuating it with a rousing chorus:

Liar, liar the world’s on fire

Whatcha gonna do when it all burns down?

Fire, fire burning higher

Still got time to turn it all around.

It’s difficult to say whether Dolly explicitly intended “World on Fire” as a climate song, though people are hearing it as such. But that’s how many of Dolly’s more “political” statements and artistic work come across — they tap into the zeitgeist without making any explicit political statements. Dolly is an expert at this…


Dolly Parton sings World on Fire at the Academy of Country Music Awards (via youtube, 05-11-2023).

More on Intersections of Art + Science . . .

Day 34: Dystopia (by Paul Howard CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Flickr).

Imagine 2200: Write the future (short story fiction contest) – Grist Magazine

Submissions are now open for the 2023/2024 Imagine 2200 climate fiction short story contest, celebrating the futures we want to see.

Grist is excited to announce our third-annual climate fiction short story contest, Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors. 

Imagine 2200 is an invitation to writers from all over the globe to imagine a future in which solutions to the climate crisis flourish and help bring about radical improvements to our world. We dare you to dream anew…

Screenshot of Zoe Keller's graphite illustration, LIMUW | Santa Cruz Island, California, shown in TEDxUIdaho talk by Kristin LeVier (via Youtube at 4:23 min)

The Art of Science: Science and Art are Not as Different as We Think – Kristin LeVier, TEDxUIdaho

Can a person be both a scientist and an artist? The answer is a resounding yes.

Discover what breath-taking works can be produced by artists who find inspiration from the intersection of art and science. Kristin LeVier is an artist who creates contemporary organic sculptures inspired by the complex, breathtaking spectacle of the natural world. She’s an MIT-trained former molecular biologist whose mission as an artist is to create innovative sculpture at the intersection of art and science..

Image from AppleTV's new climate TV show, Extrapolations, via Youtube.

‘Extrapolations’ is the climate TV show we’re finally ready for – the Grist

If Hollywood has the power to shape our collective imagination for good, it has too often failed when it comes to compelling stories about climate. But that untapped power is part of what makes Extrapolations, the new Apple TV+ series being touted as the biggest-budget scripted TV show ever made about global warming, so intriguing…

“There has been so much storytelling done around the post-apocalyptic, denuded world,” said producer and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns. “But before we get to that end, there’s a lot of messy middle…”

Night Projections: Robert Mosse at George Washington University, Washington DC November 7, 2011 (by Elvert Barnes CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr).

Opinion: Through an Artist’s Eye, Scientific Tools Help Tell Vital Stories – Undark Magazine

Perhaps one of the most salient marks of human ingenuity is our ability to peer into places our eyes were never designed to see. We can now glimpse the birth of distant galaxies with the Webb telescope, or spot structures hidden deep inside the human cell through electron cryomicroscopy…But through an artist’s eye, such technological tools can transcend their scientific purpose to deliver insights about our fast-warming planet that are more likely to resonate with the public…

Science-fiction art directed toward climate change, melting ice and re-emerging life forms (illustration by David S. Soriano, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia).

Opinion: Facts Haven’t Spurred Us to Climate Action. Can Fiction? – Undark Magazine

SCIENTISTS MUST BE wondering what it will take to scare us straight. Watching flood waters submerge 80 percent of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina didn’t do it. Nor did videos shot by Australians in 2019 as they fled walls of flame, a hellish orange haze in all directions. Will the deaths of more than 6 million people in the Covid-19 pandemic …jolt the world into action? I wouldn’t count on it.

The Bay of Life Exhibit at MAH, January 21, 2023 (by D Shrestha Ross CC BY-SA)

Frans Lanting’s ‘Bay of Life’ Project Showcases Local Ecosystem – Good Times

I can almost smell smoke as I stare at one of the photographs on display…Deep orange flames swallow a hillside next to the ocean, and thick smoke blacks out the sky. It’s a photo from the 2020 CZU fire.

“We were engulfed by it,” says (Frans) Lanting. “Chris and I live in Bonny Doon. And we nearly lost our own home. But we banded together with neighbors to fight off the fire…”

The Bay of Life Exhibit at MAH, January 21, 2023 (by D Shrestha Ross CC BY-SA)

‘Bay of Life’ enlarges the vision of what we all call ‘home’ – Lookout Santa Cruz

Excerpt: A project from Bonny Doon photographer Frans Lanting and writer Chris Eckstrom, is on display at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History…Bay of Life gives equal weight to land and sea…It gives respect, even love, to the coastal fog that so many of us curse…It acknowledges the vulnerability of the region to wildfire and drought. It also recognizes the native cultures that existed in this region for centuries before European settlement…

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