Sustainable Museums

Where does one begin to tally the environmental impact of an exhibition? Is it in the space itself as the artworks and artefacts are assembled? Or is it in the very first steps of the process, which might involve mining for heavy metals and pigments, manufacturing chemicals and products, and laying the fibre optic cables that underlie the systems of communication that are key components of exhibition-making.

Guided by these questions, Plastic Heart aims to create a low-carbon exhibition throughout all stages of its making from the size of artworks and geographic proximity of artists, to shipping, material sourcing, installation, exhibition waste, powering media, and web presence. This panel will consider the complexities of this process, how to improve, and will look to other models that critically address aggregate forms of sustainability as motivators for change in the arts.

With Suzanne Carte, Maya Ishizawa, Sarah Sutton, moderated by Kirsty Robertson

This event is held in conjunction with the exhibition Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through on view at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto from September 8 through November 20, 2021.