climate change

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Art

A Colorful Geometric Mural of a Cityscape Visualizes Humans’ Impact on Nature

November 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Love of Nature” in Chelyabinsk, Russia. All images © Vitaly Tsarenkov, shared with permission

Artist Vitaly Tsarenkov, who works under the moniker SY, depicts the threat of ecological catastrophe through a new mural featuring geometric flora, fauna, and objects typically found in bustling city centers. Created for the Urban Morphogenesis festival in Chelyabinsk, Russia, “Love of Nature” is a vertical rendering of the human impact on nature, with color-blocked trucks, road cones, and towering buildings near the top and a fire, flowers, and tufts of grass occupying space at the bottom.

Based in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Tsarenkov says the 50-meter-high mural conveys that each person has the agency to protect the planet’s resources. “It’s impossible to stop all harmful factories at once, but to make the first step towards the clean Earth is not difficult and within everybody’s power just by taking the trash away after recreation in nature,” he writes on Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation

An Intimate Short Film Highlights 2020's Crises through Exquisitely Surreal Scenes

September 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Set to subdued music, Nicolas Lichtle’s short film titled “à la fin…” is an unusually ethereal depiction of the crises climaxing in 2020. The delicate animation flows through a series of lightly-hued scenes that explore reactions to COVID-19, the wildfires raging across the planet, and the endless distractions of technology. “It’s a moment of introspection, very intimate, staged through a succession of small moments imbued with poetry, absurdity, and sometimes surrealism…” Lichtle writes.

Many of the anonymous characters’ faces are obscured by a plant, digital device, or cloth mask, and they undertake both mundane and bizarre tasks that critique contemporary life: An unassuming man runs on a treadmill while someone stands nearby to douse him with disinfectant, a figure with a bowling ball head shouts through a megaphone at upright pins, and two women happily wave at a distant earth set ablaze.

Lichtle is based in Paris and has an extensive collection of films on his site. Follow his critically-minded projects on Vimeo. (via swissmiss)

 

 

 



Art

Suspended Orbs, Webs, and Air Plants Imagine an Alternative Ecological Future by Artist Tomás Saraceno

September 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Thermodynamic Constellation.” All images © Tomás Saraceno, courtesy of Palazzo Strozzi by Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio, shared with permission

Three reflective spheres hover above the courtyard of Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi in Tomás Saraceno’s immersive installation.  The metallic orbs mirror the historic Renaissance architecture in addition to visitors who pass by, while marking the entrance to the imagined space that explores life beyond anthropocentrism. As its name suggests, Aria is concerned with air, encompassing human travel, its ability to foster growth, and how it’s entwined with every living organism.

The Argentinian artist (previously) is known for his large-scale works that fall at the intersection of science and art and consider the human toll on the natural world. Throughout Aria are various experiences dealing with contemporary environmental issues: Glass forms hang from the ceiling and house Tillandsia plants, which need only air to survive, while “A Thermodynamic Imaginary” considers the immensity of the sun and its unused potential.

Each of the works also references one of Saraceno’s 33 arachnomancy cards that explore ecological interconnectivity. References to arachnids manifest in the complex systems that hold Weaire–Phelan structures in “Connectome” or in the stark “Aerographies,” a series of clear balloons and framed networks that explore how “the movements of people, heat, animals, and spider/webs affect and are affected by the air,” a statement from Saraceno says.

Ecosystems have to be thought of as webs of interactions, within which each living being’s ecology co‐evolves, together with those of others. By focusing less on individuals and more on reciprocal relationships, we might think beyond what means are necessary to control our environments and more on the shared formation of our quotidian.

If you’re in Florence, stop by the Palazzo Strozzi to see Saraceno’s work before it closes on November 1, 2020. Otherwise, find out more about what he has planned for the rest of the year, which includes a new solar-powered balloon, on his site and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

“Thermodynamic Constellation”

“Flying Gardens,” (2020), Tillandsia plants and hand-blown glass

“Thermodynamic Constellation”

“Thermodynamic Constellation”

“Aerographies,” by Studio Tomás Saraceno

“Connectome”

“A Thermodynamic Imaginary”

 

 



History Photography Science

Overview Timelapse: A New Book Documents Vast Changes to the Earth's Surface by Human Hands

August 27, 2020

Christopher Jobson

Construction of the Beijing Daxing International Airport 2012-Present. Source image © Maxar Technologies

In a follow-up to the 2016 book Overview featuring stunning imagery of the Earth from above, Overview Timelapse: How We Change the Earth takes a critical look at the numerous ways humans have completely altered the surface of our planet in a very short time through urban development, climate change, and deforestation. Overview founder Benjamin Grant and writer Timothy Dougherty have teamed up to examine some 250 new satellite images that capture the remarkable changes currently taking place all around us from a dramatic macro perspective.

The Daily Overview is an immensely popular Instagram account started by Grant in 2013 that shares a fascinating overview photograph each day. Overview Timelapse is currently available for pre-order on Bookshop.

 

Wuhan hospital construction. Source image © Maxar Technologies

Tire graveyard. Source image © Nearmap

Brumadinho dam collapse. Source image © Maxar Technologies

Las Vegas city expansion. Source image courtesy of The European Space Agency

Source imager © Maxar Technologies

 

 



Art

The Coral Greenhouse: Jason deCaires Taylor's Latest Installation is an Underwater Sanctuary for Vulnerable Sea Creatures

August 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jason deCaires Taylor, shared with permission

About 50 miles from Townsville, Australia, an unassuming structure created by Jason deCaires Taylor (previously) rests on the sandy floor the John Brewer Reef. Currently, “The Coral Greenhouse” is in pristine condition with little algae or tiny organisms stuck to its sides. Over time, though, the sculptural work is designed to amass vibrant clusters of the sea creatures as they colonize the submerged form.

Constructed with corrosion-resistant stainless steel and pH-neutral substances, the biomorphic frame is modeled after nature’s patterns. The materials help inspire coral growth and are designed to be absorbed into the oceanic environment as the colonies sprawl across it. Workbenches line its sides and are adorned with simple patterns that create small enclaves for ocean life to hide from predators or rest. To keep divers away from the fragile ecosystems, Taylor tends to install his marine projects in less vulnerable areas.

Weighing 165 tons, the sanctuary is the Museum of Underwater Art’s largest installation to date. The A-frame structure is comprised of triangular sections and a massive cement base, which provide stability from waves and adverse weather. Its slatted sides allow divers, filter-feeding organisms, and schools of fish to swim in and out, and floating spires that protrude from the beams’ apex oscillate with the currents.

Figurative sculptures, which were made from casts of kids around the world, populate the inside to serve as a reminder that the coral needs care. They’re shown cradling planters, peering into microscopes, and watching over the vulnerable environment. “Thus they are tending to their future, building a different relationship with our marine world, one which recognizes it as precious, fragile, and in need of protection. Our children are the guardians of the Great Barrier Reef,” Taylor writes about the piece.

Dives to tour the site-specific installation will begin in 2021. Until then, get an idea of how some of Taylor’s previous works have transformed after being submerged for more than a dozen years on his Instagram. (via Fast Company)

 

 

 



Art

Bizarre Porcelain Sculptures by Artist Morel Doucet Tangle Limbs, Seashells, and Coral

August 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

“White Noise, Let the choir sing a magnified silence (25 Affirmation)” (2017), slip-cast porcelain and hand-built and altered forms, 5 x 5 feet. All images by David Gary Lloyd and Pedro Wazzan and © Morel Doucet, shared with permission

Based in Miami, artist Morel Doucet imbues his surreal artworks with a reminder that the natural world is ripe with entanglements. Often monochromatic, the slip-cast and hand-built porcelain pieces merge flora and fauna into dense amalgamations: a series of naked figures sit with coral, safety pins, and starfish as heads, while other assemblages feature a singular arm or pair of legs jutting out from a mass of sea creatures.

Doucet not only considers how humans are damaging the environment but also who is most likely to suffer in the process. In the series White Noise: When Raindrop Whispers and Moonlight Screams in Silence, he responds to the impacts of the climate crisis and ecological disaster on communities of color in the Miami area. “The beaches are eroding into the sea, coral reefs are turning bleach white, and residents wait tentatively for seawater rise. Everywhere you look Miami is undergoing drastic infrastructure changes trying to gear up for a losing battle against land and sea,” he shares with Colossal. “I believe these communities will experience the greatest climate exodus within our modern times.”

Doucet’s recent endeavors include an upcoming series called Water grieves in the six shades of death that will respond to climate-gentrification and its impact on communities with lower incomes.  Follow the artist’s sculptural considerations on Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

“Jaded Moonlight (Gardenia)”

“White Noise, Let the choir sing a magnified silence (25 Affirmation)” (2017), slip-cast porcelain and hand-built and altered forms, 5 x 5 feet

“Black Madonna & Venus”

“Regal Black Madonna (black is black, black is motherhood)” (2019), porcelain ceramic with cast altered forms, 22 to 24 inches in diameter

“When all the gold fell from the sun (Fall from Grace)” (2019), slip-cast porcelain ceramics

“The black on my back dances in a room full of to many silence part 2” (2019), slip-cast porcelain ceramic and hand altered forms, 6.5 x 10 x 5.5 inches