TippingPoint Spring Lab

it was you, so I knew it would be good

Earlier this month I was invited by the lovely folks at TippingPoint to their spring lab. We spent four days doing workshops and having conversations about climate change and art. We cried and hummed a lot and snuck in chocolate.

I was fascinated to meet Asha Bee Abraham, who is another Human Ecologist/participatory artist. I really like that Asha puts Human Ecology at the front of her arts practice, as I don’t really talk much about Human Ecology on this blog or elsewhere in the arts. It’s good to know that she is carrying the fire, and carrying it well.

The lab got me thinking about making creative work again. Since finishing the last season of Eucapocalypts Now in March I’ve taken a step back and let my full time work at ANU take my focus. That was pretty necessary, as I was in the initial stages of an intense participatory modelling process and it required a lot of thought. But that project is pretty steady now.

I was reminded again that climate change is a head fuck. My favourite workshop was one on oral histories presented by Tom Doig. In it I got to have a beautiful conversation with Angharad about our childhood memories of the weather, and our moments of climate change head fucks.

My question of the moment is; how do we go forward making artistic works related to climate change when any one of us could kill ourselves today and the state of the world in 100 years wouldn’t be changed in the slightest? I think that the sustainability discourse is often overly optimistic about our agency and capacity to influence change – we often end up envisaging ‘sustainable’ civilisations that actually require a level of organisation, control and deliberative change that is completely unprecedented in human history. That’s my head fuck right now.

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