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NYU Libraries Present the Multimedia Exhibition *This Is Not A Drill* Sept. 28-Dec. 4, 2022

by NYU Libraries Communications on 2022-09-21T11:40:55-04:00 | 0 Comments

The exhibition examines the climate crisis through audio, video and interactive installations created by NYU faculty and student fellows

Two dancers perform on the grassy banks of the East River in Brooklyn, NY

NYU Libraries present the inaugural exhibition of projects created by *This Is Not A Drill* faculty and student fellows that grapple with the climate crisis, including issues such as rising sea levels, nuclear waste, biodiversity and alternative energy. The exhibition runs Sept. 28 - Dec. 4 in the Mamdouha S. Bobst Gallery on the first floor of the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South. Visitor access is by appointment only due to University-wide COVID-19 protocols.

"We are thrilled to present these artists and their incredible work," said H. Austin Booth, NYU Dean of the Division of Libraries. "The library is an innovative, inclusive environment for teaching and learning. What better way to foster such an environment than to showcase the creativity of our own students and faculty?" 

The exhibition features nine pieces by Tega Brain, Mingyue Chen, Pedro Galvao Cesar de Oliveira, Richard Move, Pato Hebert, Karen Holmberg, Irene and Camila Mercadal, Genevieve Pfeiffer, and Yan Shao. Together, the projects reveal new and creative approaches to a crisis that affects all aspects of life. 

"The upcoming *This Is Not A Drill* exhibition marks an important milestone for the program and for the Future Imagination Fund, which was created by NYU Trustee and alumnus Sharon Chang to harness the power of imagination to create better futures. With the climate crisis now threatening every aspect of human life, artists are essential in helping us to envision healthier, more equitable and sustainable systems. We are thrilled that the work of the inaugural *This Is Not A Drill* Fellows will soon be accessible to the NYU and NYC communities." said Dean of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Allyson Green. 

“Artists approach problems differently,” said *This Is Not A Drill* director Mona Sloane, Research Assistant Professor in the Tandon School of Engineering, a Fellow at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge, and a former professional dancer. “The show is a critique of current hierarchical thinking about ecological problems and a way of developing new and more radical ways to think about technology, equity and climate.”

*This Is Not A Drill* supported five NYU Faculty Fellows and four Student Fellows with stipends to develop their artistic projects and investigations. The Bobst Gallery exhibition is the program’s first public presentation.

“Rising” is an interactive work from Mingyue Chen, Annie Li, Henry Haoyu Wang, Leo Ji, RJ Sun and Marjorie Yang that employs a card game as a way of prompting visitors to consider the tension between addressing rising sea levels and their personal interests. The installation uses three decades of climate data projections to reveal the real-life consequences of each player’s choices.

The sound installation “Algae Chorus” by Yan Shao translates the photosynthesis process of three species of algae into sound to emphasize the mutual dependence between humans and these critical organisms.

“Dirt and Water” by Irene and Camila Mercadal examines the Patagonia peatlands, a type of wetland that stores a disproportionate amount of carbon. Genevieve Pfeiffer’s “Intimate Garbage” looks at the relationship between humans, plants and trash. Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne explore the experiences of imprisoned climate activists in their work, “Fragile States.”

The exhibition also includes video documentation of a performance of Richard Move’s “Herstory of the Universe@Governors Island,” a series of six site-specific dances that showcased the flourishing ecosystems of the island.

“Visualizing … Art-Science of the Future'' features three visual essays from the site of a volcano in Chile.  Pato Hebert’s “Study #17 for the Infeasibility of Peaceful Nuclear Explosions” is a personal exploration of environmental catastrophe, and “Just in Case” offers a non-Eurocentric look at climate justice by Pedro G. C. de Oliveira.

Members of the general public wishing to view the exhibition, please email to make an appointment and request vaccination status approval. There will be an opening reception at the Bobst Gallery on Sept. 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. with registration through Eventbrite

*This Is Not A Drill* is a program of the Future of Imagination Fund at the Tisch School of the Arts.  The exhibition is presented in partnership with NYU’s Office of Sustainability, NYU Libraries, NYU Climate Change Research Seed Grant, 370 Jay Project, and NYU Reads. 

Above: Gabrielle Wills and Natasha Diamond Walker perform last fall in Richard Move's “Herstory of the Universe@Governors Island." (Photo by Slobodan Randjelović)

About NYU Libraries 

The NYU Division of Libraries comprises five libraries in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn, and one each in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Its flagship, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on Washington Square, received 3 million visits last year. The Libraries’ online catalog provides access to a world of content, such as millions of book volumes, e-books, serial titles, oral histories, and documents from more than 43,000 linear feet of archives. For more information about the NYU Libraries, please visit

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