Dear readers 🌿
We hope that you are safe and well in these times. We are excited to share with you the first highlights of what we’ve been investigating, doing, and reading.
As a collective, we do collaborative projects as well as take on the roles of creative researchers. We investigate diverse topics’ interactions with climate and cities, which we speak of below. We have also added at the end of this email some references that have been inspiring us. 🌞
If you would like to get in touch with us to discuss potential collaborations or ask any questions, please feel free to do so through e-mail or Instagram.
Thank you for reading our first newsletter 🧡
We do research projects because we want to learn of the myriad of ways climate change might relate to cities. We also believe that by adding art and design thinkings to the topics we have chosen, we can support new perspectives and change. These projects started last January. Today we present to you the questions driving our work.
We have curated our research projects into three categories linking directly to the urban environment: private, public, and institutional. We post regular project updates on Instagram if you feel curious and want to know more.
The private sphere relates to the home, the personal. Discussing tensions of responsibility through practical and subjective lenses, two projects are looking at the climate’s impacts within the urban home:
Kelly Randall investigates our ways of eating in the kitchen and supermarkets: what, when, and how do we eat? where does it come from? Gribaudi Plytas, artist duo, questions their consumption of plastic and their relationship to this material: what is the plastic’s life? where and how does it connect with our own? how far does plastic spread?
The public sphere speaks of the ‘commons’ found in the city, these things shared by many: air, sound, water, soil, streets, animals and plants. Living in a city means sharing with strangers.
Daisy Buckle looks at new ways to materialise air pollution: what is within the air? is air quality equal? what is its tangibility? Léa Silvestrucci questions global dimming: what would a world with less sunlight look like? how would we, as humans, react to it? Rebecca Lardeur dives into urban trees: how do they grow differently than their forest counterparts? what are their relationships with other beings? what happens to the wood? Barney Kass investigates the connections between environments, social ecologies and well-being: what story does sound tell? how does sound affect? what is heard and what isn’t?
The last category, institutional, focuses on the relations of climate and cities emerging from the institutions’ control and perspectives. By institutions, we mean governments, companies, public councils, universities, etc.
Flora Weil examines the mechanics of urban greenwashing, through the example of the Olympics 2020: what systems support greenwashing? how is greenwashing embedded in cultures? how can greenwashing be confronted? Patrick Walker archives his journeys within created urban greenspaces and community allotments: what are the benefits and limits? what is shared and what is not? Alexander Taylor inquires about the ecological impacts of cloud computing, from data storage to energy usage: where is the place for responsibility? can awareness and agency change the storage and energy usage?
We find it important to create projects which help comprehend and support the adaptation to climate change in cities. This is when we collaborate and when our different skills are mixed to develop creative outcomes.
We built the Pollution Pavilion back in January as a commission for Hubbub. It visualised in an interactive way the air pollution in London and was installed in Covent Garden. We made it as sustainable as possible: using repurposed wood, FSC certified timber, upcycled steel, and low energy lights. We built it in a studio powered by solar energy!
We also developed a digital experience, titled Polyphonic Earth, to collectively connect through music amid social distancing for the Covid crisis. Even if everyone might feel alone, we are all still on Earth together and as a collective, we felt this message is important.
Here is a collection of things that inspired us lately:
Climate Propagandas, Jonas Staal
How Is The Coronavirus Pandemic Affecting Climate Change?, Matt Simon
Olafur Eliasson + Acute Art Release 'Wunderkammer' Collection of Augmented Reality Artworks, Sofia Lekka Angelopoulou
Paul Cocksedge designs social distancing picnic blanket for life after lockdown, Natashah Hitti
Urban Tree Festival online talks, 16th – 24th May 2020
The World Around Earth Day talks, 22nd April 2020