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Warning Signs Empowered Art Education with The Harvard Forest Project “Widow Maker Sign” David Buckley Borden, Dr. Aaron Ellison, Trifecta

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t’s often difficult to decipher the intent behind art and figure out what a piece hanging on a gallery wall really means or how the person who created it wanted to make you feel. But when it works, art can be an incredibly effective Trojan horse for education, sparking relevant and accessible discussions for the general public. Cambridge-based artist David Buckley Borden is known for crafting immersive and thought-provoking exhibitions, which promote creative reflection while also spreading vital information about environmental issues. Over the course of both his current yearlong fellowship at Harvard University and partnership with the New England Landscape Futures research project, Borden is addressing how art can help inform ecological decisions among the population at large and encourage them to support long-term stewardship. In collaboration with scientists and ecologists at the Harvard Forest Department, his work is often a twist on iconic items familiar to any outdoor enthusiast: altered trail warning signs, lanterns built from recycled field equipment and fire danger billboards charting current environmental threat levels. Driven by his interest in speculative design and cartography, Borden’s graphic installations are colorful and clear, infusing

“E nviro n me n t al T h r e at S i g n ” D a v i d Bu c k ley Bo r d en

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RANGE Magazine  

Issue Seven - Summer 2017

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