A touring, interdisciplinary, multi-sensory, interpretive installation designed and curated by artist Michael Llewellyn. Flowing thematically through past, present and future, the works of multiple artists tell the story of the Forest and its relationship with Fire. Of how, since the Ice Age, First Nations people, using low intensity fire, created and maintained biologically rich, old growth forests. Of why our forests are currently in ecological collapse.  Of what can be done immediately to bring our forest back into equilibrium with low intensity fire in order to prevent its loss altogether and to exponentially increase its benefit to each of us individually. Led by University of California, Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station and Nevada County Arts Council, FOREST ⇌ FIRE is supported by a host of collaborators, including loggers, environmentalists, wildlife specialists, land managers, and artists and will debut in October, 2020, in Truckee, California.

Western US forests are in ecological collapse. Wildfire is sweeping through at unprecedented scale and intensity while native bark beetles destroy entire stands. Climate change is only making things worse. The good news is that the problem was largely created by our short-sighted management policies, so we can fix it. But we need to act soon, and at scale, to preserve our forests and our water supply.

We believe that artists illuminate truth, offer transcendent experience in a literal world, create raw material for science, challenge us to see and feel, and connect us to the most critical issues known today. They connect us to our common humanity.

The combined challenge of climate change awareness, forest fire education and cultural adaptation is central to the future of all inhabitants in the western United States. 

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Contemporary Art has the power to re-imagine outdated narratives, to create powerful new metaphors, and to foster the collaborative change we all need to embrace for our collective survival. Important artists, scientists, timber innovators, industry experts and policy makers will converge to share vital information and proposed responses to this increasingly daunting situation. Our goal is to inspire meaningful conversation about our culture’s relationship to forests and fire.
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