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We Are The Asteroid

We Are the Asteroid Art Installation

On Alec Baldwin’s podcast, “Here’s The Thing,” climate scientist Dr. Kate Marvel responds to the classic climate-denier argument:

“People keep telling climate scientists, ‘oh, relax, the climate has always changed.’ And we’re like, ‘We know. We told you that. We are the one’s who figured that out. And you want to know how much of today’s warming can be attributed to humans? 100%.”

This is the urgent message that New York-based, “climate artist” Justin Brice Guariglia conveys in his installation, “We Are The Asteroids,” currently skier’s/boarder’s right on Fanny Hill in Snowmass. Part of the “Imagine Climate” show organized for the 25th Anniversary of CORE in collaboration with Anderson Ranch Arts Center and The Aspen Skiing Company, Guariglia’s installation features a re-appropriated roadside warning sign. Scrolled in large digital letters, the following messages repeat:
We Are The Asteroid instillation in Snowmass, Colorado.
We Are The Asteroid instillation in Snowmass, Colorado.
We are the Asteroid instillation in Snowmass, Colorado.
We Are the Asteroid Art Installation
We Are the Asteroid Art Installation
Finally, the titular, “We are the Asteroid,” a not-so-subtle accusation of humanity’s ability to create its own planet-level destruction. Just opposite Mid-Village, the warnings ought to have a particular resonance in the hot sun and melting snow as helmeted, mini asteroid-esque children pizza and fry their way downhill.

Roadside warning signs are a staple of Colorado highways and an interesting metaphor for the climate crisis. “Watch for Wildlife” or “Caution, Wildfire” or “Watch for Rocks” are all rather terrifying warnings when you think about it, yet not quite imminent enough that the average person would actually pull over and turn around. We forge ahead … with caution and faith.

If skiers and boarders have a climate question come to mind as they slide by, an expert will be on-hand to answer them Saturday, March 23, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. John Katzenberger, director of the Aspen Global Change Institute, will take a seat right next to the road sign and will happily explain just how significant an asteroid climate change has become.

Aspen Snowmass has not been shy about its stance on climate change. Sloganed, “Give a Flake,” the climate-focused marketing campaign serves not only as an unambiguous political stand, but also an act of self-preservation. A warmer climate is already creating more volatile weather conditions which translates to droughts, floods and fire. Last summer’s devastating Lake Christine forest fire is, to be sure, just the beginning. If we want to keep enjoying these mountains and rivers, then we all must at the very, very least, “Give a Flake,” about the environment.

“We are the Asteroid II” will be on view at the Venice Biennale in Italy this May and at Somerset House in London this summer.

See It On Snowmass

Installed on Fanny Hill, Snowmass through April 1st, 2019.

About The Author

Author David Meyer


David Meyer is a journalist, novelist, editor and copy writer. A contributing writer to Architectural Digest, Aspen Peak Magazine, Du Jour and The Aspen Times, he specializes in art, entertainment, fashion, food and nightlife. David’s family has been in Aspen since the '40s. David moved here in 2017 from New York City and loves skiing, skinning, swimming, and tennis.

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