This session of Optics: A New Way of Seeing Contemporary Culture looks at how imagery is created and used within the climate change debate. 

For the past few decades, stranded polar bears a top melting ice caps have become the images almost unanimous with visually depicting climate change. But as the global crisis intensifies, so too has the repertoire of photographs able to capture the geographical transformation, as well as the human impact of our warming planet. Join series host Reya Seghal for this session of our Optics series exploring how imagery is created and used within the climate change debate. 

Speakers to be announced. 

This is a free event, but please register in advance. ICP Members have access to preferred seating in our reserved members’ section.

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About the Series

Hosted by artist and curator Reya Sehgal, Optics: A New Way of Seeing Contemporary Culture invites critics, artists, and imagemakers to analyze the pictures that shape contemporary culture and current events. The series considers the images, visual communications, and vision-related technologies that impact our times. In our current image-saturated society of 24-hour news cycles, social media, and memes, an understanding of the ways in which pictures are shaped, produced, distributed, remixed, and go viral is vital to an understanding of culture itself.


Reya Sehgal is an interdisciplinary artist and curator based in New York City. She has curated exhibitions and public programs at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, Brown University, Queens Museum, Project for Empty Space, Knockdown Center, and BRIC. Her artistic work has been seen, and experienced, at the DUMBO Arts Festival, AS220, Distillery Gallery, RISD Museum, Arab American National Museum, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Sehgal is a member of the DIVERSITY FELLOWS! performance collaborative, and was the 2018–2019 post-graduate fellow in visual culture at the International Center of Photography.

Image: Audience member capturing Optics: #Bodygoals at the ICP Museum in March 2019. Jacque Donaldson