The Humanities Center, SIO Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, and Department of Literature present

"Force Majeure"

A Lecture by Newton Harrison and Helen Mayer Harrison

Tuesday, 6 May 2014, 4-6PM

Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Sumner Auditorium
UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, California 92093

"Beginning with globalization six thousand years ago with the Salt Route, a little later, the Silk Route—and later and later"
Especially with science informed by Descartes' clock, and with modernity recreating the cultural landscape and deconstructing nature thereby, from the Industrial Revolution to the present, until all at once a new force has become apparent. We reframe a legal meaning ecologically, and name it the "Force Majeure."


Join Eco-art pioneers Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison as they contemplate "Force Majeure," both an artwork in itself and a nomer for the collective forces that are rapidly changing our world into an uninhabitable place.

The work of the speakers, Newton and Helen Harrison, defies summary. It has been awarded funding and prizes in places as varied as Holland, Japan, Great Britain, and La Jolla. The Harrisons were also founding members of UC San Diego's Visual Arts Program. For over 40 years and all around the planet, they have worked around the question of the ecological crisis. But contrary to mainstream "solutions" that often stay within the constraints of one discipline, they have consistently attempted to incorporate a great number of perspectives on the problem. For example, their Peninsula Europe incorporates interviews, statistics, geological maps, and poetry to envision a different future for Europe. Recently their sense of synthesis and urgency has reached a climax with the Force Majeure, on which they will be presenting.

For information, contact:
Penny Dockry
pdockry [at]

Related Links:

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Professors Emeriti Helen Mayer and Newton Harrison

Image courtesy of Artists Newton Harrison and Helen Mayer Harrison.

Harrisons-Tibet_October-17_forNewton1_0.jpg109.01 KB