Appalachian State University welcomes conceptual artist Mel Chin on April 2 at 6:30 p.m. for an artist talk in the Parkway Ballroom at Plemmons Student Union.
Over the last 30 years, Chin has explored a diverse range of themes in his work including environmental injustice, history, cartography and ecology.
“Mel Chin is an ideal speaker to bring to Boone,” said Jennie Carlisle, director of the Art Department’s Smith Gallery and co-facilitator for the university’s Climate Stories Collaborative. “His work is deeply engaged with social and environmental sustainability, and he can provide our community with a deeper understanding of the ways that art catalyzes social change and participates in conversations that range across many disciplines.”
“Revival Field,” which Chin developed in 1991 and continues to revisit, was a pioneering experiment in green remediation. It has provided the artist with a grounding in environmental activism that has become a cornerstone of his practice.
Chin often works collaboratively with artists and different communities. His video game “KNOWMAD,” which is based on rug patterns of nomadic people facing cultural disappearance, was developed with software engineers.
For “Flint Fit,” Chin collaborated with fashion designer Tracy Reese to turn plastic water bottles from Flint, Michigan into garments. The result of the collaboration was a prototype for future actions that use fashion as a tool for social change.
Chin has shown his work at major institutions around the world including: the Fifth Biennial of Havana, Cuba; the Architectural Biennial in Venice, Italy; the Kwangju Biennale, Korea; the Hirschhorn Museum, Washington D.C. and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Chin’s talk is offered as the kickoff event for the Climate Stories Collaborative’s annual showcase of creative climate projects, which will run April 5-10 at HOW Space.
His visit is sponsored by the Smith Gallery, the Office of Sustainability, the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Honors College, and the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development.