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Christopher Michel

July 17 - 31, 2021

Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss

How do we affect the earth when we take what we want or need without adequately considering the consequences?

Christopher Michel’s stunning photographs of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, with its abandoned coal mines, mining equipment, and ruined buildings remind us of the marks left behind long after extraction is finished. Since 1901 several mines have been active in Longyearbyen; only one still produces coal.

Christopher Michel is the inaugural Artist-in-Residence at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. His appointment is focused on leveraging visual storytelling to elevate the work of scientists, engineers and medical professionals in society.

Chris has spent many years working with the National Academies on science communications. He has been a member of the President’s Circle and on the advisory board of the Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS). In addition to his current appointment, he currently serves as an advisor to the Climate Communications Initiative.

Chris is an accomplished photographer, who has documented humans working in extreme locations like the North & South Poles, Everest, Papua New Guinea, DR Congo and the edge of space (aboard a U-2 Spy Plane). He's also had the opportunity to photograph many global leaders, including as the photographer for the 14th Dalai Lama.

Previously, Chris founded and sold two technology companies. He is also the founder of Nautilus Ventures, a seed venture fund. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Chris flew for the Navy as a Navigator and Mission Commander aboard P-3C patrol aircraft.

See more of his work at

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