Few, if any, answers are provided by the recent project Dear Climate, but that’s not the point; instead, it ropes its viewers and listeners into a profound mode of questioning with different “acts,” all either humorous, somber, beautiful, or all three at once. Envisioned and executed by a quartet of artists/poets/educators/playwrights, Dear Climate is a multifaceted project that reimagines the environment – or, rather, encourages an expansion of our imagination surrounding the environment – with a poetic series of posters and podcasts. Online, the project takes the form of random access delectables, its home page an open letter to the (physical, literal) Climate defining the project as an apology for the disastrous human acts that sprang forth from our “tempestuous, impetuous inner climates.” The project is an effort to “help you meet, befriend, and become climate change”; rather than attempt to personify the earth, animals, or the environment, Dear Climate upheaves the hegemonic mode of thought about the environment, freeing the audience from any cultural appropriations of our surroundings and reformatting perceptions in a way that is useful, unusual, and profound.
Its posters wittily reference natural and cultural phenomena from Tibetan sky burials and 60’s pop culture to the harsh realities of climate change to calls to reconsideration, while its podcasts are intense meditations on our relationships to it all. Resembling guided meditations, the podcasts ruminate over collective nouns and outline natural processes (“The Hydrosphere Incantation’s” mantra goes “evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration. Liquid, solid, gas.”) and, through repetition and atmosphere, achieve their goal in helping the listener revise their notions of both environment and self. As a whole, the project is simultaneously unnerving and comforting, meditative and confrontational, absurd and embedded in reality.
It is currently presented in exhibition form at the Science Gallery in Dublin until October 4. If the presentation is half as entrancing as the project is online, this blogger would certainly recommend seeing it (and welcomes comments on the show below!). A few of the downloadable posters, as well as one of the six podcasts, can be found below.
– Patrick Jaojoco