Fiddling While Rome Burns

Since 2014, I have been engaged in an ongoing series about climate change, titled “Fiddling While Rome Burns.” Each mosaic tackles a specific climate-related concept (be it scientific, cultural, political), impact, or solution. I invite you to explore the series by clicking on the images below, and encourage you to read the associated blog posts to learn more about each piece and its message.

  • (More Than) Enough

    Materials: One single piece of limestone Size: 16″h x 12″w Year: 2016 Through an exploration of the notion of “enough”, this piece deals with the connection between consumption and climate change, and how simply consuming less can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Read the full explanation here.

  • (Un)Acceptable Loss

    Materials: Limestone, marble, unglazed porcelain, smalti, salvaged glass, graffiti paint layers Size: 11″h x 11″w Year: 2016 Inspired by an oil spill, this mosaic is about the negative impacts that happen over the course of getting fossil fuels out of the ground and all the way to our homes, vehicles, and industries. Read the full explanation here.

  • (Un)Necessary Evil

    Materials: Limestone, marble, bituminous dolomite, coal, shale, salvaged glass, graffiti paint layers Size: 14″h x 14″w Year: 2017 A commissioned sister mosaic to “(Un)Acceptable Loss”, this oil spill–inspired mosaic is about the negative impacts that happen over the course of getting fossil fuels out of the ground and all the way to our homes, vehicles, […]

  • Black Carbon (Potent But Actionable)

    Materials: Marble, coal, sea spines, smalti, unglazed porcelain Size: 12″h x 12″w Year: 2015 A mosaic about the harmful effects of black carbon (soot) on the Arctic. Read the full explanation here.

  • Both/And

    Materials: Marble, shale Size: 14″h x 14″w Year: 2016 This piece is a depiction of the relationship between the two sides of climate action—adaptation and mitigation—and how they are equally important and urgent. Read the full explanation here.

  • Breaking The Hand That Feeds Us (More Acidic, Less Viable)

    Materials: Smalti, shells, mudstone, marble, ceramic, limestone, chalk Size: 18″h x 18″w Year: 2015 A mosaic about ocean acidification due to climate change. Read the full explanation here.

  • Dialogue (The Burden Of The Message)

    Materials: Graffiti paint layers, shale Size: 17.25″h x 24.5″w Year: 2015 A mosaic about the challenges of communicating about climate change. Read the full explanation here. Exhibited as part of Mosaic Arts International 2016 (San Diego, California), March 30 to May 27, 2016.

  • Drinking From A Firehose (Flood Prone Yet Drought Stricken)

    Materials: Marble, ceramic tile, mudstone, smalti, glass tile, brick, terracotta, sandstone, slate, thinset tesserae, and garden hose faucet handles Size: 19″h x 14″w Year: 2015 A mosaic about how precipitation trends will change due to climate change. Read the full explanation here.

  • Flip The System (Amplified Change)

    Materials: Limestone, marble, ceramic, petrified wood, conglomerate, pyrite, phyllite Size: 21″h x 21″w Year: 2016 A mosaic about positive feedback loops and how climate action can build to reach a critical mass. Read the full explanation here.

  • Follow The Man, Not The Dog

    Materials: Marble, unglazed porcelain, limestone, shale, slate, coal, glass tile, smalti Size: 10″h x 10″w Year: 2015 A mosaic about the difference between weather and climate, based on a simple illustrative example from Neil deGrasse Tyson. Read the full explanation here.

  • Fossil Of The Day (From Leader To Laggard)

    Materials: Fossils, shale, slate, limestone, Eramosa marble, sandstone, brick, terracotta Size: 28″h x 12″w Year: 2015 A mosaic ode to the Fossil of the Day award. Read the full explanation here.

  • Heat (Each Decade Hotter Than The Last)

    Materials: Mudstone, sandstone, limestone, shale, flue damper Size: 16.25″h x 24.25″w Year: 2014 A climate change mosaic about the rise in global temperatures. Read the full explanation here.

  • Wind power and solar power detail of mosaic about renewable energy by Julie Sperling

    Power Dynamic (Renewable Production, Mindful Consumption)

    Materials: Marble, limestone, sandstone, mudstone, litovi, smalti, knob and tube, shell, solar panel, petrified wood, shale, ceramic, miscellaneous stone Size: 22″h x 11″w Year: 2017 This mosaic explores how we produce and consume energy as an integral part of addressing climate change. Read more about it here.

  • Quod Erat Demonstrandum (All Else Is Junk Science)

    Materials: Limestone, Eramosa marble, sandstone, coal, cement parging, salvaged tile, Italian smalti, vintage 24-karat smalti, concretions, metal Size: 24″ diameter Year: 2015 A mosaic celebrating the scientific consensus about the reality of man-made climate change. Read the full explanation here.

  • Sea Ice (Steady Unprecedented Decline)

    Materials: Quartz, marble, mudstone, limestone, Eramosa marble, smalti, salvaged glass Size: 14.5″h x 20″w Year: 2014 A mosaic about the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change. Read the full explanation here.

  • Shouting Into The Wind

    Materials: Shale, coal, rusted metal, 24-karat gold smalti Size: 6″h x 5.5″w each Year: 2015 Three small mosaics about the emotional side of climate science. Read the full explanation here.

  • Weather Is Not Climate

    Materials: Marble, sandstone, terracotta, smalti, beads, copper wire Size: 10″h x 10″w Year: 2015 A mosaic about the difference between weather and climate. Read the full explanation here.

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