Art can show us where we have been, where we are now, and where we might go. Art can be a call to action. Art can be a catalyst for change. In its second-ever edition, ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE brings together a packed program of 30 exhibitions and events across Melbourne and regional Victoria aimed at harnessing the creative power of the arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change.
ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE is presented by CLIMARTE, an independent not-for-profit organisation bringing together a broad alliance of arts organisations, practitioners, administrators, patrons and academics from across the spectrum of the arts sector, including visual arts, music, theatre, dance, literature, architecture and cinema. Here at Assemble Papers, we’re proud to have partnered with CLIMARTE for our seventh and most recent print issue, ‘In/formation‘.
The first edition of the festival in 2015 attracted over 75,000 visitors and was named by the Huffington Post as one of that year’s top ten global climate change events. It also received the prestigious Melbourne Award for its Contributions to Environmental Sustainability. “Today, many people have turned off from discussions around climate change,” says co-founder and CEO Guy Abrahams in the foreword to the ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE book published by Melbourne University Press in 2016. “Fear, confusion, political partisanship, feelings of exclusion, frustration and sheer exhaustion mean we are reluctant to consider and act on this pressing issue. Art, on the other hand, can provide an intellectually free and non-threatening space in which ideas, problems and solutions can be considered, and where personal responses, reflections and discussions are welcome. Art can also create the empathy, emotional engagement, and cultural understanding needed to bridge the gap between climate science and effective climate policy.”
This year’s festival is headlined by EXIT, the highly acclaimed 360-degree video installation commissioned by the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris. EXIT investigates human migrations and their leading causes, including the impacts of climate change. Its complete 2015 update coincided with the pivotal Paris-based United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21). Other key events include a talk by Edward Morris, artist and co-founder of The Canary Project; a seminar by Liberate Tate‘s Mel Evans (read our recent interview with Mel here); and Forms of Resistance, a workshop and discussion on creativity and social justice presented by A Centre for Everything, featuring Central Australian filmmaker Alex Kelly, Quandamooka woman and artist Megan Cope, and Melbourne-based artist and researcher Amy Spiers.
"My study of landscapes in photography directly relates to the personal connection I have with nature. It is because of this strong captivation that I have a desire to investigate the relationship between humans and the environment." In her new 'Mineral Matter' series, New York-based photographer Brooke Holm explores Iceland's river deltas from above
For Assemble Papers, musician, podcaster, and Wheeler Centre senior digital editor Jon Tjhia has created a mixtape that combines expansive minimalism and 'very stretched out sound' with different takes on the human voice: "I pushed the mix through some heavy handed dynamic compression because I wanted its parts to squash together and have no option but to interact."
Artists Justin Shoulder and Matt Stegh live, work and breathe for their community. Across performance, costuming, queer parties and nightlife, the two combine the personal and the political – a fusion expressed beautifully within their home. On a still, sunny winter morning in Sydney’s Summer Hill, I had the pleasure of visiting Justin and Matt at home, where they’ve lived since 2011