POLAR: The Art and Science of Climate Change

A taxidermied polar bear stands with it's mouth open wide.
POLAR: The Art & Science of Climate Change, 2007.

A programme focusing on the curation and production of climate change knowledge in the polar regions

POLAR: The Art & Science of Climate Change was a multi-disciplinary project exploring cultural and scientific issues surrounding climate change.

It incorporated a 2-day international symposium, a publication Bipolar, a series of public lectures, and two new artists' commissions from Anne Brodie and Weather Permitting. POLAR was curated by Kathryn Yusoff and The Arts Catalyst, and organised with the British Library and the Open University.

Polar: Fieldwork & Archive Fever - An Interdisciplinary Symposium

Polar: Fieldwork & Archive Fever was an interdisciplinary symposium at the British Library on the 19 & 20 November 2007. It focused on the curation and production of climate change knowledge in the polar regions. Keynote speakers were Professor Denis Cosgrove, University of California, Professor Sverker Sörlin, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, Professor Rachel Weiss, Art Institute of Chicago, and Simon Faithfull, artist.

Full programme and abstracts can be downloaded opposite.

Public Talks

As part of the Polar programme, a series of four public lectures addressed broader cultural and policy-related themes arising from the symposium:

Wed 17 October - Everyday Disasters
Mon 5 November - Climate Change & Human Rights
Mon 19 November - The New Iconography of Climate Change
Mon 26 November - Geopolitics of Cold 

Bipolar Book

Bipolar, a new interdisciplinary publication featuring more than 30 'archives' contributed by the symposium and talks participants, was published by Arts Catalyst in June 2008. It is distributed by Cornerhouse Publications.

Two new commissions by Anne Brodie and Weather Permitting were shown at The Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1 on 20 July 2008, coinciding with the launch of the Bipolar book.


The project was supported by a grant from Arts Council England, the Open University and in-kind support from the British Library.