Rising Waters Confab II, April-May 2016

Rising Waters II will bring together the diverse perspectives of writers, artists, scientists, designers and other creative thinkers to address issues of climate change. Low-lying landmasses, such as Captiva Island, present a laboratory and a platform to address the first wave of rising waters worldwide and are the first to be affected by global weather disturbances. Captiva Island, resting at sea level, will serve as a “ground zero” threshold for discussions and actions on how we will address one of the most crucial issues of our time.

It is inevitable that climate change will require a phased adaptation proportionate to humanity’s ability to reduce consumption. The focus will be on the idea of graceful migration, sustainable in all forms: social, cultural and political. The approach will be open-ended, with participants engaging in collective discussions and collaborative projects, with time for personal investigations/work. Projects/actions could encompass interventions, research, agit props, performances, social engagements and creative solutions. In addition to the core residents, we will host visitors throughout the month to help inform the collaborative work, including engineers, activists and scientists.

The first Rising Waters Residency was held in the spring of 2015. Some of the concepts have served as catalysts for projects ongoing elsewhere, including ArtCOP21 in Paris. With Rising Waters II, the public outreach effort will continue. Artist Buster Simpson is the project curator for both Rising Waters I and II.

The emphasis of Rising Waters II is in concert with RRF’s focus on environmental conservation and stewardship, which stems from Robert Rauschenberg’s longstanding concern for the safekeeping of the environment and the notion of individual responsibility. The residency will embody Rauschenberg’s innovative edge and cross-disciplinary approach to artistic expression and belief that art can change the world.

Robert Rauschenberg’s home in Captiva, where he lived and worked for 40 years, was converted into a multidisciplinary artists’ community in 2012. The Rauschenberg Residency is committed to advancing new bodies of work, extending practices into new mediums, and serving as a research and development laboratory for performance-based projects. The 20-acre site is infused with an exceptional history, beauty and serenity that is both stimulating and regenerative. The Rauschenberg Residency serves over 70 artists and creative thinkers annually.


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