Borghesi-Mellon Workshops
Terra Incognita Art Series

Terra Incognita Art Series:
Artists Exploring our New Ecological Epoch


Coordinators: Alexandra Lakind (Nelson Institute & School of Education), Rob Lundberg (Nelson Institute & Law School), Emili Earhart (School of Music), and Gail Simpson (Art Department).

In this era of ecological complexities, the fields of Public Humanities, Art, and Environmental Studies overlap in myriad ways. This artist-led workshop and event series will illuminate intersections, showcasing a range of expressions that explore the relationships between humans and the world they inhabit. Our mission is twofold: 1) through the arts and humanities, to investigate environmental issues honoring the experiences, aesthetics, and struggles embedded in these topics, and 2) bring people together with diverse, but interconnected, interests and identities. As we face a new epoch of environmental complexity, we need to encourage interdisciplinarity, a broader approach to environmental studies, innovation in the arts, and supportive learning communities.

In this series you can join us for an art opening and live musical performance for a photography series about the interaction between roads and their surrounding “wild” landscapes; a storytelling event exploring the cultures and (un)natural histories of the horseshoe crab; the unveiling of a geologic exhibition that plays with the boundaries between art and science; a chance to make your own rock display, learning about curatorial aesthetics and the rocks of the Anthropocene; a dance performance concerning the production of, and destruction from, nuclear energy, followed by a panel on eastern views of nature; a movement workshop about stillness, silence, and the principles of nature and the body; a book talk, including aerial images, about the largest concentrated solar power installation; and an opportunity to meet creators of and see The Colorado, a film about the North American West and a musical tribute to land and water.

2016-17 Events

October 7 – Rob Lundberg: BearingsGallery Night at Central Library (2nd floor) – 7pm

October 28 – Helen J. Bullard: Borrowing Limulus: the multi-kingdom ingredient. 110 Science Hall – 5pm

November 11 – Stella Brown: Rock Shop of the AnthropoceneScience Hall (front entry) – 5pm

November 12 – Stella Brown: Make Your Own Rock Shop of WondersCentral Library (Bubbler Room) – 10am

February 16 – Ayako Kato: blue fishArts & Literature Laboratory – 7:30pm

February 17 – Ayako Kato: What is Movement? Village Community Cohousing – 12:00pm

March 8 – Jamey Stillings: Evolution of Ivanpah SolarCentral Library (3rd floor) – 7pm


April 2 – Murat Eyuboglu: The Colorado. Wisconsin Film Festival, Union South Marquee – 4pm *this event is ticketed: on sale @*
more information: The Colorado with post-film Q&A

April 2 – William Brittelle: Nestle, Brittelle, Joel Shanahan. Arts + Literature Laboratory – 8pm

April 3 – William Brittelle: Post-Genre Music Composition. Humanities 2541 – 7pm

April 5 – William deBuys: Not Shutting Down: Staying Engaged in an Era of Environmental Loss (Center for Culture, History and Environment Colloquium). 7191 Helen C. White – 12pm

April 8 – William deBuys: Writing Environmental Stories: Strategies for Keeping it New (Center for Culture, History and Environment Writing Retreat). Limited spots available, please register via email:


Terra Incognita Art Series workshops, meetings, and events can be found in the Borghesi-Mellon Workshops Calendar.

Additional funding, co-sponsorship, and support from: Wisconsin Union Directorate Society & Politics; Center for Culture, History and Environment, Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies; The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies; Arts + Literature Laboratory; Madison Public Library; Wisconsin State Cartographers Office.

Image: Ana Mendieta, Tree of Life (1976)