The Harrisons

Have you heard of “The Harrisons”? Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison are leading pioneers of the eco-art movement. Most often you will see them referred to as “the Harrisons”. They have been working artists for almost forty years, collaborating and crossing disciplinary lines. Much like many other cultural innovators they pay no attention to lines; to them everything is fair game for appropriation in their artwork – biology, history, ecology, architecture, public utilities, urban planning, etc. By repurposing these disciplines they have been able to create a “dialogue to uncover ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development.” Their dialogue has often extended outside the context of art leading to changes in environmental policies.

But why are they important? Art and culture at Burning Man have not been created in a vacuum; we have ancestry and the Harrisons I include in that lineage.

They will be lecturing tomorrow at the recently opened David Brower Center in Berkeley.

Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison
Presented with the Long Now Foundation
Wednesday June 10, 02009
7:00pm – 9:00pm
2150 Allston Way,
Berkeley, CA 94704

The World Ocean is a Great Draftsman, 2009. Where the Island of Britain becomes many islands as the ocean rises 100 meters
The World Ocean is a Great Draftsman, 2009. Where the Island of Britain becomes many islands as the ocean rises 100 meters

About the author: Jess Hobbs

People have often described Jessica Hobbs as someone trying to lead a compulsively artistic life, which is more or less true. She started off her adventure in a small Sierra Foothill town and eventually meandered her way to the San Francisco Bay Area. Along the way Jess has worn many hats; running and creating community art programs, counseling teenagers, curating, exhibiting, designing, photographing and playing with some girls who love lipstick and accelerants. She is an MFA graduate from the San Francisco Art Institute and has been wandering and creating in the dust fest for well over a decade. She believes collaboration is key in community and art. This idea formally began with her collaborative performance work at UCSC and has continued to be a core element in her artistic practice. This core value can been seen in her collaborative project with Felecia Carlisle, Wedding Portraits created for SFAC's Art On Market Street Program, in her work directing the Crucible Steel Gallery at CELLspace, in her creations as a Flaming Lotus Girl and in her work wrangling the Shipyard Labs.

Leave a Reply