An Interdisciplinary Investigation of Water
Columbia is proud to announce the Year of Water. Throughout the next two semesters, the University will hold art exhibits, concerts, lectures, and symposia focused on the Earth's most precious resource in all of its social, political, cultural, economic, and environmental complexities.
"It is exciting for the School of the Arts to spearhead the Year of Water and to play a central role in convening the institutes, schools, and programs at Columbia engaged in research and action around these concerns."
Centers on Water Research
Dozens of research centers and departments across Columbia are engaged in interdisciplinary research on water. Here are a few of them.
January 20 to July 3, 2020
RBML’s Chang Octagon Gallery
Items range from New York City Rainfall 1987 by Sandy Gellis, a portfolio of prints which document a year’s rainfall, to this year’s My Mighty Journey, which traces 12,000 years of a waterfall’s existence, with illustrations created with natural materials found by the river and wood engraving by Gaylord Schanilec.
Saturday, March 7
11 am to 5:30 pm
In this symposium, led by Dorothea Lasky, poets will explore the symbol of water, and its many ramifications in their lives. Water, both ephemeral and timeless, carries with it its own history. It connects us to our ancestors and to our future. Most importantly, it is a form that is intrinsically connected to poetry, with poetry’s watery and associative, fluid, electrified, and occult properties. During this daylong event, we will consider: What is a poetry of water? What does a world look like without water? How can poets save the planet?
Saturday, February 29
Eric Fan Feng, assistant professor, Institute of Contemporary Art, Tsinghua University, Beijing, and Betti-Sue Hertz, director and chief curator, the Wallach Art Gallery, discuss the far-reaching influence of the ancient concept of shan shui—literally “mountain water painting”—for ecologically sensitive contemporary Chinese artists.
Thursday, February 27
Screening and discussion of film about Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v Nestlé Waters North America Inc., which curbed the mining and pumping of local spring waters for bottled-water usage. Environmental lawyer Jim Olson, of the Traverse City-based FLOW will talk with medical anthropologist Nadia Gaber, of We The People of Detroit. Catherine Fennell, Department of Anthropology, will be the moderator.
Saturday, February 22
11 am and 3 pm
When teenager Kai’s family leaves Tokyo to live in the small fishing village of Merfolk, he discovers his musical talent can conjure mermaids from the sea. Lu arrives and trades in her fins for feet, but can she and Kai use their friendship to save the village? This 2017 animated film is directed by Masaaki Yuasa. Ages 6+. $7 for tickets purchased in advance; $9 for tickets purchased at the door.
Thursday, February 13
Screening at Lenfest Center of the Arts of an Amazonian story of a rebel love that breaks the moral and cultural boundaries of the time, told by Dona Piti, daughter of Chico Coló, a “rubber soldier,” and by Antonio, an Ashaninka from Peru. Panel discussion will follow with director Vincent Carelli, Wewito Piyãko, Esther Imperio Hamburger.
Monday, January 27
The Danish architect, founder and creative partner of Bjarke Ingels Group, talks about his projects with their emphasis on sustainable development, at Avery Hall's Wood Auditorium. Introduction by Amale Andraos, dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
Saturday, December 14
11:00 am and 3:00 pm
The 2005 documentary, directed and co-written by Luc Jacquet and co-produced by Bonne Pioche and the National Geographic Society, depicts the yearly journey of the emperor penguins of Antarctica. Ages 6+. $7 for tickets purchased in advance; $9 for tickets purchased at the door.
Wednesday, December 11
Speaking at The Forum, one of his three Manhattanville buildings, Piano will discuss how architecture can create more open, permeable neighborhoods, provide arenas for cross-cutting exchanges and opportunities and enrich civic life. This event is organized by Columbia World Projects and co-presented with the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the School of the Arts.
Tuesday, December 3
Climate change will increasingly impact every aspect of every life in every region around the world. Through the lens of the Columbia Global Centers, Columbia faculty will share their perspectives on the impacts of climate change in different regions around the world and how each region has been working to mitigate these effects. This event is part of the Columbia Global Centers 10th anniversary celebration.
Saturday, November 16
11:00 am and 3:00 pm
A 2016 3D computer-animated adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios, released by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by Andrew Stanton, follows the friendly but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory, as she searches for her long-lost parents. Ages 7+. $7 for tickets purchased in advance; $9 for tickets purchased at the door.
Thursday, November 14
A tiger’s purr, burning pianos, helium balloons and the Hudson River have all played a part in the music of this New Zealand-born composer and sound artist. The Yarn/Wire returns to perform a world premiere commission, alongside three other works, including Becoming Air, written for and performed by trumpeter Nate Wooley.
Friday, November 8 and Monday, November 11
3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, respectively
A town hall, chaired by Alex Halliday, director of The Earth Institute, will introduce you to some of the members of the task force. Come to share your ideas on how the University can have a greater impact on society and face the challenges of the future. Registration is required. Open to current students from Columbia, Barnard and Teachers College.
Thursday, October 24
A MacArthur Fellow, a Doris Duke Performing Artist, and four-time recipient of DownBeat Magazine’s Artist of the Year, Iyer will perform the world premiere of his Song for Flint and the New York premiere of Trouble, written for violinist Jennifer Koh. The Knights, a Brooklyn-based ensemble, will make their Miller Theatre debut.
October 22, 23 and 24
7:30 pm to 11:00 pm
WATERLICHT is a site-specific, large-scale light installation by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde. Translated as "water light," this immersive, monumental public art event illuminates the power and poetry of water, while raising awareness about rising global sea levels. This event, brought to you by the School of the Arts, is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
Wednesday, October 23
Daan Roosegaarde will discuss WATERLICHT and other visionary projects such as Gates of Light, Van Gogh Path, Smog Free Project, and Space Waste Lab with Carol Becker, Dean of the School of the Arts. His new Phaidon monograph will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public. Advance registration does not guarantee seating; early arrival is suggested.
Saturday, October 19
11:00 am and 3:00 pm
Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the fairies and save the spirit world. This 2014 animated film was directed by Tomm Moore. Ages 7+. $7 for tickets purchased in advance; $9 for tickets purchased at the door.
Thursday, October 17
A panel discussion, including presentations by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, about sea level rise and how intensifying coastal storms pose increased risks of flooding in the New York and New Jersey area. A question and answer period will follow. This free public event is sponsored by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Earth Institute.
Saturday, October 5
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Whether you’re an aspiring young scientist or a long-time science enthusiast, you’ll enjoy Lamont-Doherty’s Open House. Tour a lab, participate in earth science demonstrations, and learn from world-renowned researchers about their latest discoveries. This event is free and open to the public, with a $5 suggested donation.
Saturday, September 28
11:00 am to 4:00 pm
As part of Manhattanville Community Day, the Columbia Wellness Center will be celebrating "Bodies of Water," with an interactive program for families and community members to learn about the impact water has on their communities and overall well-being. The event will include a hands-on activity for kids of all ages to enjoy. This event, along with other programs and a screening of "Inside Out," courtesy Lenfest Kids: H20, is free and open to the public.
September 27 - December 14
Dyson's latest art project, 1919: Black Water, explores Chicago's tragic "Red Summer" of 1919 and the historical framework it provides in thinking through the contested geography of water, and the relationships between race, climate migration, and architecture. This exhibit is organized by the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and is free and open to the public.
Thursday, September 26
Introduced by Carol Becker, dean of the School of the Arts, renowned visual artist Olafur Eliasson will discuss his large-scale works that have sparked critical dialogue about climate change and our relationship to nature. This event, which will be live-streamed, is free but registration is required.
Wednesday, September 25
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
This year's 14th Annual Columbia International Investment Conference sponsored by the Center on Sustainable Investment will focus on corporations and sustainable development goals in the face of climate change, water stress, deforestation, health crises and malnutrition epidemics. This event is free, but registration is required.
August 12 – August 16
Lamont-Doherty will be hosting the No-Boundaries (NO-BO) Art Exhibition, now in its fourth year, from August 12 to 16, 2019. The theme this year, “A Drop of Water,” encourages exploration of the relationship between people and water through art. The exhibit of 500 artworks from children from all over the world will be shown in Beijing, Paris, Nairobi, New York, and Rio de Janeiro from August 2019 to January 2020.