This is part 2 of a four-part series put together by Centrum and Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and July Hazard to ask “what is queer ecology?” of climate scientists, ecologists, choreographers, poets, and creatives who each share unique perspectives on how queer and trans identities can and do play important roles in shifting the way we think about the sciences and our relations with the more-than-human. This project is part of Woelfle-Erskine and Hazard’s 2019-2020 Centrum Northwest Heritage residencies, made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts.
For this conversation, Woelfle-Erskine and Hazard meet up with Melecio Estrella and Andrew Jones to talk about the ways their practices in the performing arts and earth sciences intersect with queer ecologies. We learn about the processes and thoughts that have brought vertical dance, activism, and Earth science together and together the group starts to outline new possibilities for understanding how queerness and queer identities are integral to relations with the human and non-human.
Melecio Estrella has been a Bay Area performing artist, director, and teacher for the past 19 years. He is co-artistic director of Fog Beast, artistic director of BANDALOOP, and a member of the Joe Goode Performance Group since 2004. Recent notable directorial engagements include the opening of The Momentary at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, AK (Feb. 2020), The National Art Gallery of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur (2019), The Big Reveal at the Asian Art Museum of SF (2019), Art and About in Sydney Australia (2018), and the JFK Centennial Celebration at The Kennedy Center (2017).
Andrew Jones is an Earth scientist who works at the interface of human and environmental systems. His research uses quantitative models and data analysis to understand climate change and human-Earth system interactions at decision-relevant scales. He also collaborates with social scientists and interacts closely with stakeholders to understand how science can effectively provide actionable insight into strategies for increasing resilience of energy water, food, and urban systems. Andrew is an Adjunct Professor in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley where he teaches courses on the intersection of science of and society. He has participated in a number of science-art collaborations over the years including The Climate Music Project and several dance-theatre works with performance group Fog Beast. He also helped to organize and facilitate a series of thematic residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts at the intersection of artistic practice, scientific practice, and climate equity.