Brave New World, artists respond to climate change

IMAGE: Alicia Escott, "Love Song for a Republican in the 6th Great Species Extinction", video still, 2010

IMAGE: Alicia Escott, “Love Song for a Republican in the 6th Great Species Extinction”, video still, 2010

Brave New World featured an expansive body of art from around the globe that illuminated the issues and strident conversations surrounding climate change.  The title, Brave New World is taken from a line in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. “O wonder!” Shakespeare wrote, “How many goodly creatures are there here!  How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world that has such people in it.”

Through the exhibition Brave New World, the curators asked the questions: What is the role of the artist as citizen with respect to climate change? How, when faced with the seemingly insurmountable odds of reversing the effects of a changing climate, might artists find a way to reclaim a freedom of choice for the rest of humanity?

Bringing together artists from around the world, Emmanuelle Namount Kouznetsov and Kathrine Worel, the organizers of the not-for-profit OFF Space showcased a variety of enlightening potentialities.

Artists participating in the exhibit included Amy Balkin, David Beck, Michael Bianco, A Mused Collective, Gioj de Marco, Alicia Escott, Angus Forbes, Alan Hopkins, Claire Jackel, Cigdem Kaya, Andreanna Michon, Barbara Milman, Emmanuelle Namount & Elyse Hochstadt, Michelle Wilson, and Kathrine Worel.  

Artworks included a glacier seed bank, several video pieces exploring species survival, the impact of technology, and the essence of hope, a set of gossamer curtains sopping up petroleum until, slowly, the view through the window is completely obstructed, artists books, and an impromptu stock trader pushing her own version of carbon trade certificates.  Brave New World’s artists offered an unflinching response to our feelings of helplessness and morose — they will not permit complacency.

The panel discussion on October 23rd tackled the personal finance issues connected with changes in the environment.  The panelists and audience explored various ways that climate change appeared likely to impact their personal spending and their capacity to save, and examined ways to stay in control even if the planet seems to be spinning out of it.  The panel was moderated by financial planner, Sean Fletcher and included PG&E energy auditor Leanne Hoadley Bissell, California Air Quality statistician, David Fairley, personal income tax planner, Mark G. Berkman, CPA, and OFF Space curators Kathrine Worel and Emmanuelle Namount.


Categories: Past Exhibitions

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