Rising Waters Confab

Rising Waters reportcover

Rising Waters Confab 2015

  • The book, a 96-page report produced by Buster Simpson with assistance from many others. A link to an outline of the book’s contents is here.
  • The blog, produced over the course of the residency, with photos, dialog, links, related references, and project ideas posted by more than half the residents.

In spring 2015, the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island hosted a residency that differed from others they support. The Residency invited artist Buster Simpson to develop a residency designed around a specific theme. Buster, in turn, invited artist Laura Sindell and me to work with him. The five-week residency brought together 21 artists, writers, scientists, lawyers, island dwellers, and others to explore what climate change and quickly rising waters will mean for our land, culture, and the Florida coast.

“The focus on applying creativity to the issue of climate change,” wrote Ann Brady, director of the residency program, “is inspired and challenged by Robert Rauschenberg’s legacy and his philosophy that art can change the world.”

In his introduction to the book, Buster wrote:

The Rising Waters Confab convened from April 27-May 29, 2015 as a focused collaborative residency at Robert Rauschenberg’s studio on 20 acres between the Gulf of Mexico and Pine Island Sound on Captiva Island, Florida. Captiva will eventually be paradise lost to sea rise. Perhaps for now it can function as a laboratory for creative planning, and as a model for a graceful transition and migration to higher ground.

And he concluded by asking:

To reverse our excessive carbon footprint trajectory and avoid the worst of global catastrophes, a unified collaboration is required on a scale never before seen. Do we have it in our DNA to adapt and creatively retool our footprint?