Webinar: Artist Talk with Jenny Kendler on Music for Elephants
This Zoom webinar with artist Jenny Kendler aired February 24, 2022, as part of the Unsettled Nature: Artist Event Series. Watch a recording in the player above.
Jenny Kendler is an interdisciplinary artist interested in raising consciousness about ecological concerns. Her installation, "Music for Elephants," translates data predicting future poaching of African elephants into a score for a vintage ivory-keyed player piano. The score, both eerie and meditative, counts down month by month, from a population of around 400,000 African elephants remaining today, predicting that 25 years from today there will be no elephants remaining if we do nothing to stop ivory poaching and illegal trade.
In this video, Kendler and Smithsonian’s Carlene Stephens discuss how humans relate to elephants as commodity and kin, reckoning with ivory in museum collections, and how art and science intersect to protect and restore this well-loved species.
Moderator: Joanna Marsh, co-curator of the exhibition, Unsettled Nature: Artists Reflect on the Age of Humans.
Unsettled Nature: Artist Event Series
What is "natural" in a world where the human imprint is everywhere? In the exhibition Unsettled Nature: Artists Reflect on the Age of Humans formerly at the National Museum of Natural History, contemporary artists challenged viewers to think about the changes we make to our planet. We hosted a series of conversations with them on the power of art to illuminate our relationship with the natural world. September 2021 – March 2022