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Chicago Navy Pier



We are the Asteroid II


Chicago Navy Pier


September 15th – November 30th, 2018


This new public art project by the artist and environmental activist Justin Brice Guariglia uses aphorisms to focus our mind on the ecological thought. Using a solar-powered LED message board typically used on roadways, Guariglia shares surprising poetry, metaphor, and humor to draw in diverse audiences, breaking down barriers to enable important conversations about our current ecological crisis.

As Guariglia notes: “The ecological crisis we face today, is the moral imperative of our time. At this critical juncture, art must be used as a positive force for social and political change, and to help open our minds to new possibilities.”

By utilizing a solar-powered LED message board Guariglia seeks to contrast the audience’s expectations of the medium. Highway signs evoke a feeling of tension and change, typically used at construction sites to caution passers-by and through re-contextualization, it draws attention to our complicit use of unsustainable systems of creation and consumption.

Text for WE ARE THE ASTEROID II comes from philosopher Timothy Morton, Professor and Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University. Morton, considered one of the most important ecological voices in writing today,  is the author of HYPEROBJECTS: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World (Minnesota, 2013) among numerous other publications. His work explores the intersection of object-oriented thought and ecological studies.

This work was made possible by a grant from the Union of Concerned Scientists and Science Rising, a national movement to highlight the critical role that science plays in our democracy.

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