In the summer of 2006, city buses in Denver were plastered with images of a dead, desiccated horse hanging upside down from a tree in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The horse had been deposited there by the 25-foot floodwaters accompanying Hurricane Katrina. Adjoining this photo was another, of a desolate stretch of bleached-out coral reef in Belize. And next to that, a photo series of 1,600-foot-wide ponds formed by a melting Austrian glacier. A caption read, “This Is What Global Warming Looks Like.”
An estimated 300,000 people saw the pictures, the first major commission for the Canary Project, a group of artists who tell the story of climate change through their work. Its founders, Ed Morris and Susannah Sayler, have collaborated on various projects for the past 14 years, starting with Morris’s senior English thesis in college: an exhibition that combined his poetry and her photographs in an investigation of three arbitrarily selected Steins: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sergei Eisenstein, and Gertrude Stein (this was Wesleyan, 1994). Morris and Sayler are now married.
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