Dear Climate - Marina Zurkow and Oliver Kellhammer in exhibition and conversation

Dear Climate - Marina Zurkow and Oliver Kellhammer in exhibition and conversation

The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3361 6th Avenue, Troy, NY

November 11, 2014 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

What is Dear Climate? Just a conceptual nudge (not a paradigm shift). The old joke—“Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”—isn’t so funny anymore. Lots of people are trying to do something about the weather. Climate change is on the geopolitical agenda, if only in time for us to realize that it’s too late to do anything meaningful. Maybe the problem’s not that no one’s been doing anything about the weather, but that we’ve been talking about it in the wrong way: the old “let’s fix it” way. Now that the weather’s changed, is it also time to change the way we talk about it?

To craft new kinds of personal engagement with climate change, we charted three “movements of mind.” The first, “Meet Climate Change,” was about openness and encounter, acquaintance and curiosity. Observation and conversation were obvious techniques for this, but so were certain “techniques of consciousness,” like meditation and mindfulness, that seemed to us to be imbued with a spirit of deep friendliness, which led to our second movement: “Befriend Climate Change.” Once you invite someone or something into your mental home, it’s only a matter of time before you get to know it better. The imagination gets seriously involved, the conversation deepens, the plot thickens.

Our third movement was “Become Climate Change.” Taking up the challenge of the new weather means we have to understand our human selves in ways beyond biography, even beyond history. We have to understand our species as a geophysical force that is shaping the systems of our planet. Performing that conceptual feat will require many kinds of imagination, not just the imagination of crisis and catastrophe. It will mean not just doing something about the weather, but talking about it—and feeling about it—differently. 

Sponsored by Rensselaer's School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, iEAR Presents, NYSCA, NEA, The Sanctuary for Independent

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