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Commons Conversations Revisited: Conveying Climate Change with DJ Spooky

We were fortunate to have DJ Spooky, aka Paul Miller, discuss how his artistic practice is informed by scientific data, advancing the argument that the sciences need the arts more than ever in our political climate, on April 19th, 2017, in his presentation: “Conveying Climate Change.”

DJ Spooky led the audience through a series of artistic projects that dealt with climate change, including the devastation of ice and the retreating Indian rivers. DJ Spooky explained how he selected mathematical formulas to convert the data around climate change in these contexts into tones that he could then remix to create music. This, he hopes, creates a visceral experience for listeners around our shifting environment.

DJ Spooky suggested that data is a particularly fertile tool for those bridging the art/science divide. Using data allows artists to bring science to life in a manner that is accessible to the layman, and often offers emotional resonance — particularly important in our current situation, where convenience can trump activism.

In the process of his discussion, DJ Spooky also touched on the importance of accessibility to artistic creation, arguing for greater openness in copyright to allow for increased remixing and artistic expression. All of his works are available on his website for free.

We were thrilled to have DJ Spooky at Cal right before he heads off to LA to participate in the Science March on Washington, where he will host an after-party for participants!

Check out the photos below!

2017 Commons Conversations: DJ Spooky

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