Time Sensitive, art inspired by time and climate

Art Show: Time Sensitive


Time Sensitive: Art explores time and climate

“…when we wake to the deep shores of time uncreated, then when the dazzling dark breaks over the far slopes of time, then it’s time to toss things, like our reason, and our will; then it’s time to break our necks for home.”
— Annie Dillard, H​oly the Firm

About 4.5 billion years ago, the earth formed.

In an attempt to viscerally understand such an expansive timeline, we can picture those 4.5 billion years condensed into a single 24 hour day. Compressed in this way, humans make a late debut to the Earth Party – arriving more than fashionably late – around 11:59:59pm. And in a second, humans dramatically alter the planet.

How may a perspective of deep time affect our behavior now and in the future? If human presence can be contextualized by a single second, then how might geologically “long” concepts of time help us understand the nature of our impact on the environment? How can it help us consider the damage done within the second of the Anthropocene?

Many of these images show an alien world – land masses under water, and deserted, dusty plains. Yet some images are full of whimsy and hope.

But perhaps this reflection on Earth, time, and humanity’s small place within it, will serve as a humbling reminder of our inability to perceive the greater context in which we exist.



Marnie Benney

Independent Curator

Time Sensitive Exhibit 2020


Grinnell Glacier, Montana
Melissa Fleming
Variable dimensions

Melting glaciers are one of the most visible manifestations of climate change. Essentially massive rivers of ice, they are particularly sensitive to rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns. Built up over centuries, glaciers once seemed like permanent features in the landscape. Today, however, they are melting away in what feels like the blink of an eye. 

Provincetown & Truro, Massachusetts with a 20′ Rise in Sea Level
Daniel Ranalli
Scanned and altered topographic map, 2019-2020
Variable dimensions

The Re-Mapping series uses scanned USGS topographic maps. The series began in 2006 with a 10-foot version of sea level rise and in this update, I have brought sea level up to 20 feet. The maps are made by removing land in a photo editing program and moving the sea in. This provided a much more profoundly palpable experience for me.

la puissance éolienne
Anna Fine Foer
Watercolor, collage
26 inches x 20 inches

I explore the contrasts between maps and physical land and collage maps [as a way] to represent land, sky, water and architecture. As humans, we have inserted ourselves on the landscape for thousands of years. Isometric wind turbines are presented in a field of oceanic wind rose compasses. The turbines are supported by bamboo poles planted in islands made of maps of the Aeolian Islands. The French named wind power after the Greek god of wind; Aeolian, hence the connection between the islands and wind turbines.

Hiker/Door to Aridity
Jon Jordi Pardo
Medium-format film photography
Approx. 12000  pixels x  9850 pixels

These two images are a sample of ‘Árida’, a project that documents the Spanish lands currently at risk of desertification. 80% of the state’s territory is prone to desertification during the 21st century. Most affected will be the regions of Murcia, Alicante and Almeria, according to investigations led by the Spanish Environmental Ministry in the past decade.

North River I, II
Mike Basher
Silver Gelatin Photographs
Four sizes, limited editions of 10

Through the use of extremely long exposures — some measured in days — this series of photographs shows the long-term results of the environment’s effects on itself and man-made objects alike. The series “Reciprocity” portrays the give and take relationship of nature’s daily cycle. The title also plays on photographic film’s reluctance to record an image during excessively long exposures. In each resulting image, these photographs capture an immense passage of time, begging us to ponder the changing rhythm the Earth faces each day.

Sub Rosa (Skerry)
Pat Goslee
Acrylic, latex on reclaimed table top
40″ diameter x 1.5″ thick

The painting “Sub Rosa (Skerry)” (intentionally misspelled from ‘scary’) represents healing — a return of symbiotic algae to the coral reef ecosystem threatened by rising temperatures — amid hostile social media trends that are about disinformation. Social media is a weaponized social disease. It can distort the truth. It can spread lies. It can be a force that disregards science.








Wellfleet Apparitions
Sarah Riley
Drawings, photos
and digital artwork
reworked in Photoshop,
printed on vinyl
30” x 144″

This piece was created by layering my photographs, drawings, and digital painting within the digital arena. Wellfleet Apparitions uses anomalous shapes, colors and textures to reinforce the suggestion of memories and re-imaginings. Memories of a time when the planet was still whole. Re-imaginings of a time in the future when brutal storms and temperatures destroy us and the world as we still know it.  Inaction in the face of climate change has cost us precious time. This artwork is about the fragility of the planet and of life itself. The figure starting to appear in the third panel disappears in the final as we struggle to survive these changes.

Karey Kessler
Watercolor on paper
36 inches x 42 inches

The title of this piece refers to the “Great Acceleration” ­— a concept about how humanity’s impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems has been accelerating over time. This map explores the uncertainty and ecological grief caused by climate change. The words include “deep time” (before humans were on Earth) and the “trace of presence” and “boundless immensity” that will remain once we’re gone.


Not a Drop to Drink
Elena Soterakis
Acrylic, molding paste, oil, and collage
18 inches  x 24 inches

As time progresses, Earth’s inhabitants will see an increase in extreme climate events like drought, resulting in an influx of climate refugees across the globe. This piece illustrates the critical link between climate change and political instability. This piece was inspired by imagery of the ongoing Syrian civil war, which coincided with the nation’s most devastating drought in history.  

Swan Song Medley
Daniel Ambrosi
Digital (Computational Photography + Artificial Intelligence)
13844 pixels x 7828 pixels

For millennia, humanity has flourished in a wide variety of ecosystems. This artwork symbolizes a journey through time and space depicting the heartbreaking beauty of special places in our world, places at imminent risk of being greatly diminished or destroyed if we don’t accelerate our efforts to address climate change. Explore the work interactively here.