May 18, 2018

Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison
Future Garden

Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz

The Harrisons, Future Garden, 2018. Installation view.

The Institute of the Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce the opening of Future Garden for the Central Coast of California, a major long-term art and science project by Newton Harrison and his late wife and lifelong collaborator, Helen Mayer Harrison, at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

Internationally renowned for decades as eco-artists, the Harrisons and their Center for the Study of the Force Majeure have worked for over two years on this site-specific environmental art installation in the three geodesic domes and the surrounding garden at the Arboretum.

Their collaboration with scientists at UC Santa Cruz, botanists at the Arboretum, and other artists, scientists, and visionaries has produced trial gardens within the three domes. The goal of Future Garden is to determine which plants are best able to thrive as the region warms and to create the scaffolding for a more rapid adaptation of the local ecosystem as the climate shifts.

The geodesic domes of the Arboretum provide the perfect setting for imagining a future in the face of climate change. With new, gleaming white coverings, the Arboretum’s geodesic dome greenhouses reach back in time to Buckminster Fuller’s utopian designs for a better world while warning of the perils of current inaction as the earth warms. Not just bearers of bad tidings, the futuristic domes are models for how, as Newton Harrison says, “people can take responsibility for a deeply stressed planet.”

Future Garden is sponsored by the Nion McEvoy Family Trust of the San Francisco Community Foundation, the Metabolic Studio, 30 Petals Fund, Rowland and Pat Rebele, annual donors to the Institute of the Arts and Sciences and members of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

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