Conversations About Landscape: Measurement and Metaphor

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 • 6:00–9:00 p.m.
Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery

Free, RSVP required. Email reserve@exploratorium.edu, or call 415.528.4444 and choose option 5.


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

Recent advances in neuroscience research are starting to elucidate how landscapes may impact a variety of cognitive and emotional systems, from memory and attention to creativity and stress. Yet there has been little discussion of how the intersections between landscapes and our brains could be mediated by the arts. How does observation impact the observer? Are measurement and metaphor diametrically opposed?

Join us for a discussion about the relationship between poetry, citizen science, and the state of our brains.

About the Presenters

Juliana Spahr edits the book series Chain Links, and with Joshua Clover and Jasper Bernes she edits Commune Editions. With David Buuck she wrote Army of Lovers, a book about two friends who are writers in a time of war and ecological collapse (City Lights). Her most recent book is That Winter the Wolf Came (Commune Editions).

Dr. Rebecca Johnson co-created and co-directs the California Academy of Sciences Citizen Science program. Through this work, she supports and grows a community of naturalists working together to discover nature. Dr. Johnson is passionate about building coalitions around place-based nature connections, biodiversity documentation, and using species observations to understand climate and land use change. She is the Bay Nature 2017 Local Hero for Environmental Education.

Pireeni Sundaralingam is a poet, playwright, and cognitive scientist. She is Associate Professor in the Writing and Consciousness and the Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts departments at California Institute of Integral Studies, and Principal Advisor on Human Potential for the Museum of the United Nations. She is the Fisher Bay Observatory Urban Fellow, 2016–2017.