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.
In a time when extraordinary experiences are being promoted by cities, towns and regions as part of a tourist package, the natural environment is under pressure to enhance its existing assets in order to be shared, liked, meme-d and appreciated. Georgia Nowak – via 'Future West (Australian Urbanism)' – looks at how new tourism infrastructure in national parks could support their conservation
Tasmanian artist Helen Wright (the artist featured on the cover of our latest print issue!) is concerned with the uneasy coalition between humans and the natural world. Through her paintings, drawings, prints and the cast sculptures we see a playful yet political reminder of the fragile balances of this relationship. Here, she shares with us some of the thinking behind her multidisciplinary practice
Founded in 2009 by scientist-turned-social entrepreneur Bec Scott and her partner Kate Barrelle, STREAT has made a name for itself as a social enterprise that works with homeless and at-risk youth to introduce a sense of belonging through personal and professional development in a hospitality setting. Hudson Brown sits down with Bec to hear the story behind STREAT's success