Curtailing greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with global warming depends upon convincing businesses, communities, and individuals to relinquish behaviors that are often less costly and more convenient than the alternatives being proposed. Governments have three tools that artists do not possess to encourage these changes: legislation (punish violators), taxes (increase the cost of emitting greenhouse gases), and subsidies (reward frugality). The artists in this section utilize an alternative tool. They encourage voluntary changes in peoples' behaviors by displaying evidence of the destabilizing  effects of a changing climate.

Project: Lin, Steiner & Lenzlinger, and Zurkow make no attempt to affect the physical environment. Instead, they concentrate on the psychological aspects of climate change by demonstrating its affects and evoking powerful emotional responses to them. 'Demonstration' can also take the form of objective information stripped of emotional triggers. This approach relies upon the power of factual information to overturn opposing arguments and to educate the uninformed. Create a work of art by assembling data drawn from the rigorous context of science. Present it so that the information is accessible to a wide audience. Your artwork may be xeroxed, performed, taped, collaged, or tweeted.

Research / Discussion: Research a condition correlated with climate change that is depicted in any one of the artworks discussed in this section: Lin - extinctions, Steiner & Lenzlinger - drought, Zurkow - sea rise. Based on this research, critique the artist's demonstration of this condition. What events might cause this condition to worsen? What actions might prevent it? 

  • Friday, 14 September 2012