The old joke—“Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”—isn’t so funny anymore. Lots of people are trying to do something about the weather. Climate change is on the geopolitical agenda, if only in time for us to realize that it’s too late to do anything meaningful. Maybe the problem’s not that no one’s been doing anything about the weather, but that we’ve been talking about it in the wrong way: the old “let’s fix it” way. Now that the weather’s changed, is it also time to change the way we talk about it?
Five international artists (Marina Zurkow, Una Chaudhuri, Oliver Kellhammer, Fritz Ertl and Sarah Rothberg) began Dear Climate in 2012 by looking for a new way to talk about the weather. They wanted a different vocabulary: instead of crisis and catastrophe, they wanted the familiar and ordinary; instead of desperation and heroism, playfulness and friendliness. Instead of imagining mass movements or calling for community action, they were interested in finding a more personal relationship to climate change.
To craft new kinds of personal engagement with climate change, they charted three “movements of mind.” The first, “Meet Climate Change,” was about openness and encounter, acquaintance and curiosity. Observation and conversation were obvious techniques for this, but so were certain “techniques of consciousness,” like meditation and mindfulness, that seemed to them to be imbued with a spirit of deep friendliness, which led to their second movement: “Befriend Climate Change.” Once you invite someone or something into your mental home, it’s only a matter of time before you get to know it better. The imagination gets seriously involved now, the conversation deepens, the plot thickens.
Being truly hospitable involves opening yourself to the unknown. When that happens, the guest can change the host profoundly. So their third movement, was “Become Climate Change.” Taking up the challenge of the new weather means we have to understand our human selves in ways that go beyond biography, even beyond history.
Since then Dear Climate has evolved as a project with many incarnations popping up at different places. This is Dear Climate’s first Dutch incarnation.
Comprised of 68 posters and 6 audio works to date, the work is designed to flex its nimble agitation/meditation muscles in a variety of urban and urbane formats.
It’s creators prefer to have it installed in abject, provocative, strange, and lonely places and felt MU’s two black sea containers at the circular economy driven Plug In City at Strijp S matched perfectly.
One container is plastered with a selection of 25 Dear Climate posters and houses a little writing desk for everyone who wants to befriend Climate Change by becoming penpals. Feel free to write your letter and tear a poster from the writing desk posterblock to take home with you.
In the other container the setting is more meditative: sit down in a beach chair, smell the wet soil and listen to the Dear Climate podcasts while letting your thoughts drift of to try and become Climate Change yourself....
Opening Thursday 3 September, 19.00 h - movie night after: facebook
When 3 September - 11 October, 2015
Where Plug In City, Strijp-S, across Onder De Leidingstraat
Lees essay Ethics, Ecology, and the Future: Art and Design Face the Anthropocene door Kayla Anderson.
Weather or Not
MU wishes to thank the artists behind Dear Climate, Onder de Leidingstraat, Plug In City Gemeente Eindhoven, Ministry of OCW and Trudo for making Weather or Not possible.