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Antarctica Collection contributed by Micaela Neus with Bill Burns, Nandor Kovats, and Steve Sweet. Image Credit: Mary Lou Saxon. Courtesy of the Archive Trinidad and Tobago Collection contributed by Alicia Milne and Luis Vasquez La Roche. Image Credit: Milne/La Roche. Courtesy of the Archive New York (USA) Collection contributed by Adriane Colburn and Tyler Henry. Image Credit: Mary Lou Saxon. Courtesy of the Archive New Orleans (Louisiana, USA) Collection contributed by R.U.B.A.R.B. - Pleasur’ne Thomas, Monique Dean, Tyjunaique McKenzie, Wynell Davis, LaShine Dickerson, and Milissa Orzolek. Image Credit: Mary Lou Saxon. Courtesy of the Archive


A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting (Amy Balkin, et al.) is a collection of items contributed from places that may disappear owing to the combined physical, political, and economic impacts of climate change, including glacial melting, sea level rise, coastal erosion, and desertification. Through common but differentiated collections, contributed materials form an archive of the future anterior; what will have been. Together, the contributions form one material document among many, a collection of community-gathered evidence, a public record, and a midden.

Who should contribute to the archive, given the unequal distribution of impacts, varied timescales, and the personalized dangers of future and present climate and its politics? Anyone living in a place that is sinking or melting, may soon become uninhabitable or is already disappeared.

Amy Balkin’s works propose alternatives for conceiving the public domain outside current legal and discursive systems, addressing property relations, environmental justice, and equity in the context of climate change. Her solo and collaborative projects include A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting (Balkin, et al.), atmospheric park Public Smog, Invisible-5; an environmental justice audio tour along California’s I-5 freeway, and The Atmosphere, A Guide. These and other works have been published in Decolonizing NatureArt in the Anthropocene, Materiality, and Critical Landscapes, and exhibited recently in 4,543 MILLIARDS. La question de la matière(CAPC), Fleeting Territories(Kunstraum Niederösterreich), Sublime(Center Pompidou Metz), Hybris(MUSAC), and Rights of Nature (Nottingham Contemporary).

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Amy Balkin’s work is currently on display until 27 May 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland as part of the DISPLACEMENT exhibition developed in collaboration with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).


A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting