Image courtesy of Barron Bixler

Vision

The Environmental Art + Media Lab at Princeton fosters creative projects that illuminate pressing environmental problems and spark social change. We collaborate with artists, filmmakers, writers, designers and makers as well as environmental scientists and community science groups.

In tandem with our art and storytelling experiments, we conduct interdisciplinary research about how and for whom different creative forms—from performance to speculative fiction, documentary to interactive media—break through the noise of skepticism and disinformation and respond to collective feelings of despair and exhaustion. The lab's animating conviction is that imagination is vital to convey both research about and lived experiences of current ecological crises and to provoke possibilities for livable futures beyond extractive capitalism and climate disaster.

lab sponsors

What We Do

creative practice

Our creative experiments focus on speculative fiction, documentary photography and film, longform nonfiction, animation, immersive narrative and interactive media. An annual environmental imagination incubator will host artists/storytellers-in-residence to support a work in progress and collaboratively create a story series focused on a community, place or ecological problem. The incubator will involve faculty, students and external collaborators.

research and publication

We study how—and for whom—artists, storytellers, and creative communities generate knowledge about ecological crises and model futures that arc away from planetary disaster and toward environmental and social justice. Centered in the environmental humanities, our research draws on narrative theory, media studies, socially-engaged art, and ecological and climate science. To provide a forum for this scholarship and for our collaborations and collaborators, the lab plans to publish an open-access journal beginning in 2023.

programming

Working with co-sponsors, the lab will program public events that complement the environmental imagination incubator. This programming will include screenings, exhibits, workshops and symposia. Potential topics include stories of environmental racism and restorative justice, water and fire in the American West, climate disruptions and adaptations in coastal communities and food and seed sovereignty movements.