reGEN: Art & Science Addressing Climate Change – A South Texas Project Seeking Field Input & Feedback

Penelope Boyer, PhD, Land Heritage Institute, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Jose Chapa, artist, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Carol LaFayette, Director, Institute of Applied Creativity; Professor, Department of Visualization, Texas

A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA

Matthew Eric Mendez, artist, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Emily Royall, independent technologist/cultural manager, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Luz María Sánchez-Cardona Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Arts & Humanities, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Lerma campus, Mexico City, Mexico.

This workshop will contextualize reGEN: Art & Science Addressing Climate Change as an annual transdisciplinary collaborative event held at Land Heritage Institute in San Antonio, Texas—the seventh largest U.S. city–1200 acres of open space along the Medina River under development as a land museum with 20+ miles of hike/bike/bridle trails, 2+ miles of pristine hardwood riparian forest, a STREAM Center [Science|Technology|Reading/Writing|Environment/Engineering|Arts|Math] for students of all ages and spaces for artist/scientist residencies. Following presentations on the land museum/ethnobotanical center and its internal projects including Museo Paseo, a growing series of trail-accessed artist installations and biennial art-sci symposia, workshop participants will be asked to engage in a pro-active dialogue laying out possibilities for reGEN as a model for regenerative-minded community-based climate change confabs. The workshop will provide a platform for participants to generate reGEN activities for inclusion in future iterations of reGEN (including fall 2017) that can be conducted IRL or remotely, and for reGEN leadership to:

  • confirm and enhance reGEN’s mission
  • receive field feedback for reGEN’s future
  • better locate reGEN within a global regenerative context
  • identify methods to more actively address climate change –identify global allies/collaborators


This presentation/workshop will context reGEN: Art & Science Addressing Climate Change as a transdisciplinary collaboration between students, science practioners and artists engaged in a productive dialogue about how science, technology and art can collectively address climate change; reGEN exists to provide a community-based public forum for moving beyond the traditional framework of sustainability and present a platform for regenerative practices. Principles outlined in the Regenerative Development Manifesto inform what the reGEN collaborative seeks to achieve for San Antonio, South Texas and— ultimately–globally.

reGEN convenes annually at Land Heritage Institute, 1200 acres of open space in south San Antonio, Texas—the 7th largest U.S. city. This property, under development as a land museum, has 20+ miles of hike/bike/bridle trails through wilderness including 2+ miles of pristine riparian hardwood forest (95% of Texas riparian has been compromised or destroyed), a trail-accessed network of contemporary art installations, a bunkhouse sleeping twenty, camping hook-ups, archeological evidence attesting to continual human occupation for over 10,000 years and a built environment including an 1850s sandstone home built by settlers from the American South with slaves of African descent overbuilt by a two-story wood frame farmstead home to a ranching family who worked this land for over a century, plus a sustainable

(solar and water-catchment) STREAM Center [Science | Technology | Reading/Writing |

Engineering/Environment | Arts | Math/Media] re-purposed from a WWII-era Quonset hut once used by Ford Motors to test tractors.

reGEN has manifested itself as pop up exhibition, multi-media presentations and lectures about climate change, artist talks and film screening.

With a spring 2017 planning workshop at Texas A&M-College Station’s Institute of Applied Creativity, including a mini-residency by the Land Art Generator Initiative, reGEN is preparing itself for its future incarnations.

The next reGEN event will be in autumn 2017; it will be conducted as the creative and proactive component of the 2017 LHI Art-Sci Symposium. The Balance-Unbalance Transdisciplinary Workshop will provide an ideal opportunity for reGEN leadership to seek out and stimulate ideas for reGEN as a model for other regenerative-minded community-based climate change confabs. Workshop participants will have an opportunity to steer reGEN’s direction by:

  • providing field feedback for reGEN’s future
  • confirming or enhancing reGEN’s mission
  • further developing ideas for the convening’s fluid shape and structure
  • locating reGEN within a global context of regenerative activity
  • finding ways to pro-actively and actively address climate change
  • identifying global allies/collaborators
  • considering how new roles will fit reGEN’s ever-changing structure
  • looking toward output by the project, especially the development of an anticipated chapter in a proposed publication Regenerative Development: Urbanization, Climate Change & the Common Good under consideration by Routledge

To help with planning please register:


Penelope Boyer, PhD, is Art-Sci Projects Director, Land Heritage Institute/LHI (San Antonio, Texas).

San Antonio-based artist Jose Chapa’s installation, Pon la Mesa, addressing dietary crises diabetes/obesity, is located at LHI.

Artist Carol LaFayette, Institute of Applied Creativity Director and Professor in the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University-College Station, collaborates with the sciences to invent interconnective experiences of flora/fauna/phenomena in her laboratory/studio: a regenerating former ranch. Her work with leaf-cutting ants is documented in PBS’ “State of Tomorrow”: a 3D-immersive experience of an Atta texana colony.

San Antonio-based artist Matthew Eric Mendez recently completed the art-practice/travel program, Land Arts of the American West. Mendez will be helping organize the San Antonio contemporary artist component of reGEN2017.

Emily Royall is an independent technologist/cultural manager based in San Antonio, TX. She holds a B.S. Neuroscience and B.A. in Arts from the University of Texas-Austin, and a Master’s Degree in City Design & Development from MIT.

Transdisciplinary artist, scholar and author.  Luz María Sánchez-Cardona, Ph.D., received First Prize at the inaugural Biennial de las Fronteras (2014); she was awarded the prestigious grant of the Mexican System of Art Creators by the National Institute of Arts and Culture in Mexico (2015).

Balance-Unbalance 2017

Balance-Unbalance (BunB)
is an International Conference designed to use art as a catalyst to explore intersections between NATURE, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY and SOCIETY as we move into an era of both unprecedented ecological threats and transdisciplinary possibilities.

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