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The Harrisons Map the Future

The Harrison Studio—directed and guided by UCSC emeriti Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison—has created celebrated installations all over the world. The team has been commissioned by corporations and entire governments to track the systemic conditions and outcomes of global forces affected by human consumption. The multi-media work of this prolific couple—currently Research Professors with the Digital Arts and New Media graduate program at UCSC—displays in graphic terms the implications of viewing the earth as a huge systems of fragile, interwoven forces.


“Our work begins when we perceive an anomaly in the environment that is the result of opposing beliefs or contradictory metaphors. Moments when reality no longer appears seamless and the cost of belief has become outrageous offer the opportunity to create new spaces – first in the mind and thereafter in everyday life.”


Pioneers and acknowledged leaders in eco-art, the Harrisons use the term "Force Majeure" to explain the accelerating transaction between ecosystems and planetary change. The underlying ecological force enacts in physical terms the results of global warming, industrial processes, degraded ocean productivity. The current show is most recent example of their environmental analysis in visualized display.


On Mixing, Mapping and Territory is currently on view at the Sesnon Gallery, through Friday March 15. In huge, wall-sized maps, the Harrisons graphically predict specific changes to coastlines and countries, and track the volatile dialogue between ecosystems under stress. These predictions are annotated and eloquently explained in the Sesnon exhibition's videos as well as large-scale books of charts, maps and poetry.


The Sesnon Gallery is open to the public, free, Tues-Sat, noon - 5pm.