International News: “Art + Climate= Change” festival features exhibitions, events and lectures on creating a sustainable future
By Elsie Percival
In 2004 David Buckland projected a high-powered light onto an iceberg—the words ‘DISCOUNTING THE FUTURE’ flickered hauntingly across the iceberg’s blue face. The iceberg had been given a voice. For the 20 other artists and scientists on board the boat floating apprehensively through the Arctic ocean, it was as if they had stumbled upon a ghostly sea of soothsayers warning them of what was to come.
David Buckland is an artist and filmmaker and founder of the Cape Farewell Project—a yearly voyage that takes artists into the Arctic to create climate change inspired work. He is just one of the artists that will be featuring in the Australian event Art + Climate = Change. This city-wide arts festival is currently being held in Melbourne, Australia, and was initiated by Climarte—an independent charity that aims to “harness the creative power of the arts [and] to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change.”
This festival forces us to confront future conundrums of climate change through artistic questioning. It also aims to create and celebrate culture in Australia. By exploring the science of climate change through the arts, Art + Climate = Change provides an exciting bridge from science to self in order to close a gap that has dissociated many for a long time.
The idea of climate change has transcended the world of pure science and has become a social phenomenon. While governments struggle to come to terms with the data, the magnitude and severity of the situation is often ignored. There is a necessity to bring the scientific notion of climate change to the forefront of our cultural lives. We need a way to contextualize and process this information and bring focus to its impacts.
Art + Climate = Change illustrates the stories of climate change and environmental degradation, making it personal and emotional, enabling people to engage with its truths. Through this creative journey and growth of rich dialogue, people are inspired to make change as a society instead of becoming lost in a cloud of statistics that demoralize and dishearten.
Art + Climate = Change runs from the 11th of April until the 17th of May. There are 25 curated exhibitions hosted at galleries throughout Melbourne, as well as keynote talks and public programs.