Environmental Artist Pam Longobardi to Speak at UWG

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Artist and environmental interventionist Pam Longobardi will speak at the University of West Georgia on Thursday, March 15.

Longobardi will speak about her ongoing Drifters project. It is a global collaborative, interdisciplinary project focusing on marine debris, plastic pollution and the changing ocean.

Artist and environmental interventionist Pam Longobardi will speak at the University of West Georgia on Thursday, March 15.Her talk, part of UWG’s Department of Art Visiting Artist and Scholar Series, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Humanities building, room 312.

“The ocean functions symbolically as the unconscious of the world, regurgitating all manner of human existence,” Longobardi said.

The North Pacific Gyre, a spiral of ocean currents, “acts as the eye of the ocean to record the human imprint as it gathers drifting debris in an area the size of Texas,” she said.

“The debris, originating from the shores of Asia and the Americas, once naturally biodegraded at sea. But with the prevalence of plastic products, the waste floats indefinitely. As the flotsam circulates in the ocean, it collides with the Hawaii islands depositing tons of plastic debris on its once pristine shores.”

Longobardi is currently a professor of art at Georgia State University and has had more than 40 solo exhibits and 65 group exhibits in galleries and museums in the U.S., China, Italy, Spain, Finland, Poland, Japan and elsewhere.

The Drifters project documents Longobardi’s collection and presentation of these objects. Her actions are two forms of intervention. The first is an environmental one that physically removes the debris and re-situates the objects within the cultural realm, their point of origin. The second freezes the objects’ de-evolution as cultural artifacts. They become frozen in different states: from the recognizable to the wholly mutated. The objects are then re-presented in installations and large-scale sculptures as intriguing visual oddities that remind us of the impact of a globalized consumer society.

Longobardi’s artworks are in numerous collections, including commissions for the Benziger Family Winery in California, the Hyatt Corporation, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Center and First Tennessee Bank in Memphis.

Her book “Drifters: Plastics, Pollution, and Personhood” was recently published by Edizione Charts. She was named Coastal Living Magazine’s Costal Hero of the Year in 2010. Her film “Drifters” won Best Environmental Documentary at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival in 2008. Longobardi lives in Atlanta. For more information the Drifters project go to: www.driftwebs.com.

For more information about the talk contact Stephanie Smith at slsmith@westga.edu