McBean Distinguished Lecture
Mel Chin’s pioneering art practice inserts contemporary art into unlikely contexts, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and popular television, in each case poetically extending the capacity of art to amplify social engagement. Chin’s Revival Field (1989–ongoing) utilized plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil, and innovated the field of green remediation. More recently, Chin’s Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project envisaged practical models to make New Orleans a lead-safe city. Chin’s transformative works marry symbolic, aesthetic gestures with pragmatic, scalable solutions to address complex cultural and environmental challenges.
Mel Chin photographed by Amanda Wiles