Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Multisensory Engagement, Part II - from Across the Country

Back in November, I published a blog post about multisensory engagement in sustainability and climate action, using examples from the Chicago Community Climate Action Toolkit. At the end of that post, I promised a follow-up post with examples from across the country. Here it is!

Here are some of my favorite examples of projects that attempt--successfully or unsuccessfully, you decide--to engage a broader audience in complex sustainability issues by drawing on the senses in very creative ways:

American Museum of Natural History: Our Global Kitchen Exhibit
This new exhibit explores connections between food, nature, and culture, using sight, smell, and taste. Sounds so creative--I hope to go visit next time I'm in New York!

Digital Media/Sound Artist Andrea Polli
Talk about creative: Andrea Polli uses all sorts of media, my favorite being sound, to help people think about the natural environment and climate change in new ways. Check out this blog entry about her from grist.org. Make sure to click on some of the links to other sites to hear and see her work,

DJ Spooky
More climate "sonification," this time from a DJ and graphic designer...

Sending A Message Through Song
Cincinnatti high school student Camille Jones wrote this wonderful blog post about the ability of song to facilitate change. Great links to some great songs included!

Symphony of Science
Another example of using song--this time to convey science directly.

Dance: The Seldoms
This Chicago dance troupe explores a number of social issues--including climate change. Here's a review of their performance in 2012, Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead. Wish I had seen it! Dance seems like an interesting medium through which to explore the importance of relationships and connection as a key strategy for survival.

Please share!
What's your favorite example here?
What other examples can you share with us?

Signing off,


  1. Thanks, Jenny. This is a valuable collection of resources. Terry

  2. From ICA colleague Karen Snyder: I loved your blog on the senses. My favorite was John Lennon's "Saltwater". I would love to sing some of these songs at our weekly meetings.

  3. Another wonderful contribution from Karen Snyder--watch this 14 min. video, it's wonderful:

    This TED Talk has been recommended to you by karen.snyder10@gmail.com from TED.com.

    Note from sender:
    I thought of your blog on the senses when I listened to this TED talk today emphasizing the power of visual images. Enjoy!


  4. Andrea Polli's work is so interesting! I love the sounds in track 2 here: http://www.gruenrekorder.de/?page_id=342. Looks like you can get all of them on iTunes too.

    Also love DJ Spooky's comment that "the 'Anthropocene' era is simply a massive remix of the planet."

  5. Andrea Polli is coming to Columbia:

    RESIDENCY: Polli will be an artist-in-residence with the Intermedia MFA Program at Columbia College Chicago

    April 19-21, 2013

    My friend Fereshteh Toosi, who teaches at Columbia, is getting more information about her talk. I will post it here once I have it and we should go together (anyone who's interested)!