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‘Chasing Ice’ filmmaker to discuss his gripping glacial photography and debut unseen footage at Macky Auditorium April 1

March 18, 2013

Filmmaker and adventurer James Balog will share his stirring and beautiful glacial photography revealing changes in climate at a free event at 7 p.m., Monday, April 1 in the University of Colorado Boulder’s Macky Auditorium.

The event, “A Conversation with James Balog on the Art of Chasing Ice,” is hosted by Earth Vision Trust and CU-Boulder’s Inside the Greenhouse, a multidimensional project that explores the nexus of environmental science and the arts and humanities.

Similarly, Balog and his work bridge art and science. Balog is the founder of the Extreme Ice Survey and the subject of the award-winning 2012 documentary film “Chasing Ice.” He is a Boulder-based photographer, but his work spans the globe documenting changing ecosystems through time-lapse photography stationed at 13 glaciers on four continents.

“I have spent my professional life exploring the intersection of humans and nature,” Balog said. “In ‘The Art of Chasing Ice,’ I am honored to present through words and images, the intrinsic beauty and fragility of ice, which motivated us to make the movie.

“As a graduate of CU, I am delighted to be collaborating with Inside the Greenhouse on debuting not only this artistic work but their new performance series,” he said.

During “The Art of Chasing Ice,” Balog will share his insights, images and never-seen-before footage while discussing his on-going work in a public interview with Beth Osnes, assistant professor of theatre and dance.  

Osnes leads Inside the Greenhouse in partnership with Max Boykoff, assistant professor in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the Environmental Studies Program, and Rebecca Safran, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. All three professors work closely with Marda Kirn of EcoArts.

“Inside the Greenhouse was inspired by the Inside the Actors Studio model, but instead of probing the acting processes, we aim to draw out process, motivation and creative communications surrounding engagement with climate change,” Osnes said.

Inside the Greenhouse seeks to deepen the public understanding of how issues of climate change are communicated by creating artifacts— art, film, television programming— that convey climate change. The centerpiece of the project will feature highlights from the conversation with Balog and students’ creative work.

“Merely conveying information about climate change does not change behavior. We are interested in creative forms of communication that can bring out the relevance of the issues at the personal level,” Boykoff said. 

“We want to engage students and the public in conversations about climate change, but one of our primary goals was to bring a high-profile leader in climate issues to campus to inspire both students and the larger Boulder community.”

Safran added: “James Balog is the perfect artist to feature in this first project, because he is bringing the reality of climate change front and center through images that are impossible to ignore. By bringing us to parts of the world where climate change is most visible, we see undeniable proof that our world is changing—rapidly.”

Balog’s work began with a 2005 National Geographic assignment to photograph retreating glaciers, which inspired him to preserve the vivid, visual evidence of climate change. Currently the Extreme Ice Survey employs 28 time-lapse cameras running in the Rocky Mountains, Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Glacier National Park and at Mount Everest to continually document the beauty of ice and the rapid retreat of the world’s glaciers.

For more information about “A Conversation with James Balog on the Art of Chasing Ice,” parking and other details visit http://events.learnmoreaboutclimate.org/ice/. Parking around Macky Auditorium is limited. Community members are encouraged to plan ahead. For more on the Inside the Greenhouse project visit http://www.insidethegreenhouse.net.

“The Art of Chasing Ice” is sponsored by the CU-Boulder Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) and Learn More About Climate, an initiative that seeks to extend CU-Boulder climate science expertise to educators, policymakers and citizens. Additional sponsors include CIRES, the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the CU-Boulder Office for University Outreach, the CU-Boulder Environmental Center and Flatirons Bank.