Newton Harrison


UCSC Professor Emeritus, Newton Harrison is the featured guest on KZSC’s Artists on Art. We discussed his work with Helen Mayer Harrison, the Harrison Studio, the Center for the Study of the Force Majeure, and the event hosted by the UCSC’s Institute of the Arts and Science, CELEBRATING HELEN AND NEWTON HARRISON – 45 YEARS OF ECOLOGICAL ART, happening, Thursday, March 9, 2017, in the Digital Arts Research Center. This event is free and open to the public.

The Harrisons have worked for almost forty years with biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners and other artists to initiate collaborative dialogues to uncover ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development. Their most recent project is the Force Majeure.

Based at UCSC, The Center for the Study of the Force Majeure brings together artists and scientists to design ecosystem-adaptation projects in critical regions around the world to respond to climate change.

To hear our interview, please press the play button below:

TEDxSantaCruz Radical Collaboration 2015 Live Event

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(Kevin Johnson — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

TEDxSantaCruz Radical Collaboration happened Friday April 24, 2015 at the Rio Theatre. The all day event was a rousing triumph.

Helen Mayer & Newton Harrison of the Harrison Studio were a big part of the success of the day. It’s a great pleasure to be able to speak to about their experience of giving a TEDx or TED type talk.

Our interview was April 28, 2015 at noon on KZSC. Helen and Newton are co-directors of the Center for the Study of the Force Majeure at UC Santa Cruz and are leaders in the eco-art movement

This year,  I was both the project manager & main co-organizer for the event working on every single aspect from programs, name-tags, set design, developing and launching our new website, animation, speaker curation, budget, schedule, MidTown Lunch Mingle, Bus Booth..etc.. I put four months of full time work into making this event.

The theme, Radical Collaboration,  was very close to my heart and something I’ve been thinking, doing and researching all my life. The concept came to a head for me in the 2009 when I videotaped the Art of Collaboration Conference at UCSC.

For more information, you can go to the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s Article, the cover story in the  Good Times, Smells Like Team Spirit or listen to our interview below.

Helen & Newton Harrison & a Manifesto for the 21st Century

Ecological Artists, Professors Emeriti Newton & Helen Mayer Harrison talk about their work and exhibition, The Harrison Studio: On Mixing, Mapping and Territory, at the Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery at  UCSC.

The Harrison’s lecture took place February 6th. The show runs to March 15, 2013 at the Sesnon Gallery in Porter College.

To hear the Harrison’s Manifesto for the 21st Century, please click the gray ‘play’ button below.
[haiku url=”″ title=”Force Majeure Manifesto” graphical=”true”]

The Harrisons have exhibited in world acclaimed art shows:

  • Sao Paolo Biennale – the Mangrove and the Pond
  • Biennale Nagoia – the Sava River Work
  • The Documenta 8 – Centerpiece (1987) Kassel Works

The Harrison have received top world Awards:

  • Great Britain Civic Prize for doing the most to explain global warming to the British Public.
  • Holland for doing the most for the Dutch Landscape
  • Nagoia, Japan – 2nd Prize for the Sava River Work

The Harrison have done major works in Germany, the former Yugoslavia , Holland, Sri Lanka and England and minor works (in their opinion)  for France, Italy, and Czechoslovakia, to name a few.

Newton & Helen Mayer Harrison

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Screen shot 2013-02-01 at 9.51.44 AMOn January 28, 2013, Artist on Art had the incredible privilege and honor to speak with Environmental & Ecological Artists, Professors Emeriti Newton & Helen Mayer Harrison about their work and upcoming exhibition, The Harrison Studio: On Mixing, Mapping and Territory, at the Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery at  UCSC.

The Harrison Studio has been producing multi-media collaborative dialogic installation Eco-Activist art internationally for over 40 years.  After teaching at UC San Diego in the Art department for nearly thirty years, they retired and moved to Santa Cruz. Since then, they are back teaching in the Digital Arts and New Media MFA Program and began the Center for the Force Majeure Studies.

The Harrison’s lecture is  free, open to the public, and takes place  February 6, from 4:30-6pm at the Digital Arts Research Center with a Reception from 6:00–7:30pm  at the Sesnon Gallery in Porter College. The show runs from February 6 to March 15, 2013.

To hear our Artist on Art broadcast in entirety, please click the gray ‘play’ button below. Please be aware that the Harrison Lecture is at the DARC, February 6th from 4:30-6pm and not as misstated in the podcast.    [haiku url=”″ title=”Helen & Newton Harrison” graphical=”true”]

Stanford’s Environmental Humanities Project hosts Newton Harrison

Stanford’s Environmental Humanities Project hosts Newton Harrison from nada miljkovic on Vimeo.

Here is a talk given by Newton Harrison of the Harrison Studio for Stanford University‘s Environmental Humanities Project. Newton spoke on November 10, 2011 at Stanford University’s Margaret Jacks Hall, Terrace Room, about his 40 years of Eco-Art. The talk was entitled, Force Majeure: Works from Tibet and the Peninsula of Europe to the Sierra Nevada. He begins the talk with their 1984 piece, Green Heart of Holland.

On Twitter? Follow @artistonart.

Helen Mayer and Newton Harrison

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World famous Eco-Artists and UC Professors,  Helen and Newton Harrison are the guests for KZSC radio show, Artist on Art on the November 7, 2011 to talk with the show host, Nada Miljkovic.

Harrisons talked about their long and illustrious Art career by giving a brief history of projects from the late 60s into the now. We talked about a current exhibition and installation at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno entitled “Sierra Nevada”. As usual to their art practice, for this project, the Harrisons collaborated with paleoecologists, earth systems scientists, and visualization scientists, art resources in Reno, as well as UCSC DANM MFA graduate students, to produce their large-scale, community-oriented, and sustainability-driven art.

Future Garden Part 1: The Endangered Meadows of Europe, 1996-1998, Bonn, Germany

We also talked about their new research center at UCSC in the DANM department, the Center for Force Majeure Studies. The Center enables artists and scientists to develop new collaborative insights, disciplines and methods to create, design and execute projects that elaborate the research and work of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison.

The mission of the Center for Force Majeure Studies (“the Center”) is to generate long-term research projects that address the emerging stresses of the Earth’s largest ecosystems by co-joining the processes of art-making and the Sciences within the uniquely and specifically-framed perspective of work by Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, understood as the Harrison Studio.

For more information on their work, the Green Museum the online museum for presenting an discussing environmental art. This was the second time Helen and Newton have been on this show. Their archive was recently moved to Stanford University and is currently being show in the Art and Architecture Library entitled, Four Decades: Selections from the Helen and Newton Harrison Papers.

In 2010 the Stanford University Libraries purchased the archives of Helen Mayer and Newton Harrison. Within the 170 linear feet of boxes lie the records of four decades of production, from the earliest works of the 1970s to the works-in-progress of the past few years. Materials include documentary photographs and slides, audio tapes, correspondence, notebooks, blueprints, financial records, grant proposals, newspaper clippings, exhibition catalogs, and computer equipment.

The items on display in the four exhibition cases represent a small fraction of the archive. Drawn from the records pertaining to four separate projects, they provide a glimpse of the Harrisons’ working processes and the environment in which each project was conceived and created.

The Lagoon Cycle: 1974-84
Atempause: Breathing Space for the Sava River: 1989-90
California Wash: 1996
Peninsula Europe: 2000-08

Here’s the video of our show:

To hear our broadcast in its entirety, please click the gray ‘play’ button below: [haiku url=”″ title=”Helen Meyer & Newton Harrison” graphical=”true”]

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