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Preview: Diana Thater in Season 8 of ART21 "Art in the Twenty-First Century" (2016)

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In this preview from the "Los Angeles" episode of Season 8 of "Art in the Twenty-First Century," artist Diana Thater considers her motivations for creating. “I think all artists want to change the world,” says the artist, “I hope all artists want to change the world. And if there's anyplace that we can imagine a different world, it's through art, it's through literature, it's through film.”

Diana Thater makes video installations that poetically grapple with threats to the natural world, from the extinction of species to long-lasting environmental disasters such as the nuclear fallout of Chernobyl. Many of the artist’s works take the space where people and animals meet as their subject, exploring the experiences of wild gorillas in a Cameroon park, a wolf trained to work in Hollywood films, a monkey-inhabited temple in India, and zebras at an exotic animal farm. Adopting cyclical time signatures and extended durations, Thater’s ambient works are abstractions of time which diverge from the linear narratives humans use to make sense of themselves and the cosmos.

Learn more about the artist at:

Watch the FULL EPISODE online ( or from PBS streaming apps (

Season 8 of "Art in the Twenty-First Century" premiered Friday, September 16, 2016 at 9:00 p.m. on PBS. "Los Angeles" aired Friday, September 23 at 9:00 p.m.

Learn more about Season 8 at: