Millennium Project in Pioneer Valley Integrates Art with Citizen Scientists
Exhibition to Document Next Millennium of Climate Change in History’s Slowest Photograph
What will the landscape of the Pioneer Valley look like a millennium from now? The Mead Art Museum and artist Jonathon Keats are determined to find out. As part of an exhibition of Keats’ work, the museum will install a special camera that will take a 1,000-year-long photograph tracking the changes in the local landscape over the next millennium.
Created using the basic design for a pinhole camera, the Millennium Camera will use oil paint and the light that enters the camera through a tiny hole in order to create an exposure that will reflect changes in Amherst’s landscape over time. Mounted at the top of the Stearns Steeple, the camera will get something a bit like a bird’s eye view of its surroundings. In 3015, the image created by the camera will be unveiled and viewed by a community living in a very different world than today’s.
The exhibit that marks the camera’s start is titled Photographing Deep Time, and will showcase Keats’ other work in deep time photography, including a 100-year photographic survey of the changing cityscape of Berlin. Rather than being focused on the end result of any image, Keats’ deep photography process is focused on connecting photograph viewers with the changes that take place over time that, together, create the final product.
Older students and adults wishing to hear more about the monumental project and Keats’ artistic process can attend an artist conversation at the Mead Art Museum from 2-3pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Photographing Deep Time will be on display at the museum through May 31, 2015, providing families with the opportunity to explore the intersection of art, science, and the future’s history. This Wednesday afternoon event is free and open to the public and is part of the Arts at Amherst Spring Festival.
The Mead will also produce 100 pinhole cameras, each with a 100-year exposure time, for the public to hide somewhere in the Pioneer Valley, invisibly monitoring changes in the surrounding landscape between now and 2115. The cameras will be available at the Mead for $5 each and will come with a registration card for visitors to document their camera’s location. Participating families can join is a art-based citizen scientists!
ABOUT THE MEAD ART MUSEUM
Situated in the vibrant Five Colleges academic community (including Amherst, Hampshire, Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges and UMass Amherst), the Mead serves as a laboratory for interdisciplinary research and innovative teaching involving original works of art. The Mead’s exhibitions reach a wide and growing audience, drawn from a region that encompasses Boston, Hartford and the Berkshires. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. For more information, including a searchable catalogue of the collection and a complete schedule of exhibitions and events, please visit www.amherst.edu/mead.
The museum and its gift shop-café are open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday until 8 p.m. year-round, and until midnight on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday during the academic term. Admission is free.