Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Science and Art Join Forces in Innovative Film to Premiere February 20 in Fiske

The illuminating, climate change short film will project onto the Science On a Sphere® globe, followed by a panel discussion


If you go

What: HOLOSCENES / Little Boxes
on Science On a Sphere® Free public event

When: Wednesday,
February 20, 7:00 p.m.

Where: Fiske Planetarium
CU Boulder

A few years ago, internationally recognized artist Lars Jan installed glass tanks in the middle of New York’s Times Square and slowly filled them with water. Live performers inside tried to keep performing everyday activities: tuning a guitar, reading a paper, getting dressed. Now, Jan and his colleagues are releasing a related film, HOLOSCENES / Little Boxes, which premieres internationally next month at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium on the Science On a Sphere® (SOS) six-foot diameter display.

The film was made possible through a collaboration between EcoArts Connections and Science On a Sphere®. It fuses together the cognitive tools of science (facts, analysis, charts, and graphs) with the affective tools of art (images, metaphors, and storytelling) and creates an engaging visual experience that dives into the social, emotional side of climate change.

“Fiske Planetarium is enthusiastic to premier HOLOSCENES / Little Boxes,” said Briana Ingermann, Education Programs Manager at Fiske. “The intersection of the arts and the sciences brings about new ways to create and new ways to learn about the world—to explore the range of human experience—particularly for something so impactful as climate change.”

“At this point, the climate crisis is as much about us—the behavioral and cognitive science behind how we make decisions, think and act in the long-term, and feel empathy—as it is about CO2 or melting glaciers,” said Jan, founder of the genre-bending performance and art lab Early Morning Opera. “Climate science also makes clear: our biosphere, our communities, our daily behaviors are all part of a single, deeply connected system.”

HOLOSCENES / Little Boxes, based on Jan’s original HOLOSCENES, will debut in CU Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium on Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00 pm. A panel discussion with Lars Jan, media artist Pablo Molina, and climate scientist Elizabeth Weatherhead will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

The five-minute film includes footage of people completing everyday gestures in large tanks that gradually fill with water, submerging the performers. These scenes are interlaced with vibrantly colored global datasets and a vivid narration.

Science On a Sphere®, a room-sized global display system, typically displays planetary data such as ocean temperatures, earthquakes, or climate patterns. NOAA, CIRES, and CIRA researchers developed SOS as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science in a way that captivates people of all ages. Following the premiere, the new art/science film will be available to all 160+ SOS sites worldwide, potentially reaching millions of people across the world. The film will also be freely available in the SOS Data Catalog.

This story was modified from an EcoArts Connections press release. Read the original release here (Dropbox).


This work was made possible thanks to funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, 3P Biotechnologies, Inc., and the Boulder Arts Commission with significant in-kind contributions from EcoArts Connections, Science On a Sphere®, and Fiske Planetarium—and created thanks to the work of Lars Jan (concept, writing, and direction), Pablo Molina (creative producer and technology consultant), NightLight Labs (original animations and editorial), and advisors from across the country including climate scientists, educators, SOS docents, a film producer, and mobile home park youth.


PLEASE NOTE: Seating is very limited and is first come, first served.

A light reception will begin at 6:15 p.m.

For Fiske parking information, click here.

For more information about this event, click here.

For more information about the artists, contact Marda Kirn, EcoArts Connections.

For more information about Science On a Sphere®, contact CIRES’ Shilpi Gupta, who works for the Science On a Sphere® program.


CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and CU Boulder.


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