Ballroom Marfa, FotoFest International and the Public Concern Foundation will bring Marfa Dialogues to Houston in March 2016 as we consider the scale of climate change from the perspective of artistic practice, public policy, critical theory, and environmental science

Marfa Dialogues/Houston takes place in late March at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), and the Menil Collection

More information about Marfa Dialogues Expand >

Established in 2010 by Ballroom Marfa co-founder Fairfax Dorn and the Public Concern Foundation’s Hamilton Fish, Marfa Dialogues began with two Marfa-based symposia, the first on the politics and culture of the US/Mexico border in 2010. This inaugural Marfa Dialogues was accompanied by In Lieu of Unity / En Lugar de la Unidad, a visual arts exhibition that brought together artists from Mexico – citizens, residents and emigrants – who have sustained a curiosity about social relations in their art practices.

Marfa Dialogues 2012 featured a weekend of programming focused on climate change, with presentations and discussions with input from Michael Pollan, Rebecca Solnit and Dr. Diana Liverman, among others. These symposia corresponded directly with Carbon 13, a group exhibition curated by David Buckland of Cape Farewell at Ballroom Marfa.

In October of 2013, in partnership with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Ballroom Marfa launched Marfa Dialogues/New York, two months of programming looking at climate change solutions with over 30 program partners. MD/NY also featured Quiet Earth, an exhibition curated by Fairfax Dorn at the Rauschenberg Foundation Project Space, which featured environmentally-engaged works from the 1970s to the present including contributions from Amy Balkin, Donald Judd, Maya Lin, Trevor Paglen, Robert Rauschenberg, and Agnes Denes’ Pyramids of Conscience (2005), a Ballroom Marfa commission.

The most recent Marfa Dialogues – MD/STL – took place in 2014 over a long July weekend in St. Louis, in partnership with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. The St. Louis program looked at the intersection of climate change science, artistic practice, and civic engagement, and included programs from the Judd Foundation, Mary Miss, Tattfoo Tan, and Washington University, among others. The Pulitzer Arts Foundation’s group exhibition Art of its Own Making served as the visual arts component centerpiece of MD/STL, and featured Denes’ Pyramids of Conscience among its highlights. With the support of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation we were able to expand our programming to welcome returning participants from MD/NY alongside local and regional program partners.

Marfa Dialogues travels to Houston in March 2016 in partnership with FotoFest, International. This year’s FotoFest biennial takes on the interconnected issues of climate change; population growth and migration; globalized use of natural resources and capital; and the impact of new technologies. As part of this discussion, MD/HOU will include three days of panels, presentations, performances and films considering the scale of climate change issues, from the hyper-local to the hyperobject.

For more information on past Marfa Dialogues, please visit

Close ×



In development


2016 / Houston >

2014 / St. Louis >

2013 / New York >

2012 / Marfa >

What's Happening


Marfa Dialogues/Houston, March 24-26, 2016

Ballroom Marfa, FotoFest International and the Public Concern Foundation will bring Marfa Dialogues to Houston, Texas March 24-26, 2016 as part of the FotoFest 2016 Biennial. Join us as we consider the scale of climate disruption from the hyperlocal to the hyperobject. Events will be presented at The Menil Collection, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and the Museum of Fine Arts,… Read More >