Creative Work

Contents : Keep it Together · From Green to Red ·

Tammy West (Austin, TX) – “Keep it Together”

medium: Site-specific environmental art

I found Tammy West’s thought provoking piece “Keep it Together” perusing the White House Office of Science Climate Assessment Award Winner page. This piece and more of the artist’s work can be explored on her website.

West’s piece which in her words, “conceptually wills climate change and the drought to end by literally tying cracked earth back together” felt highly relevant to my research question. It speaks to the fact that we are passing a point in the climate emergency in which half measures will be inadequate. The consequences of climate change have very much already arisen as the Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change clearly illustrates, and there’s much less we can do about those consequences now that they’re here. West implies that many of our global warming adaptation strategies equate to putting a bandaid over the proverbial gaping and festering wound. Figuring out exactly which mitigation strategies will get us the most bang for our buck is absolutely necessary, otherwise we’ll be stuck continuing to to try and fix things when it is already too late.

Beatie Wolf – From Green to Red

An interactive environmental protest piece, “Built From 800,000 Years of Our Planet’s Data”

In contrast to Tammy West’s highly localized piece Keep it Together humorously illustrating the impact that climate changeon one small section of one landscape in one particular moment in time, Beatie Wolfe’s From Green to Red zooms out 800,000 years and examines the change in Carbon Dioxide levels over that timeframe. Referencing the NASA data source of the past 800,000 years of CO2 data (illustrated in my website resource, Wolfe draws attention to just how extreme of a climate situation we are in.

The NASA Data which From Green to Red illustrates.

Analysing Wolf’s Green to Red piece in the context of Keep it Together got me thinking about the many extreme and disparate impacts that the very real change from green to red increase in CO2 levels will bring. It humanizes the above graph in a way that makes a desire to take action feel ever more urgent. Watching the video piece underscores how necessary human actions will be to correct the “reddening” of CO2 that we have wrought. It makes the urgency of answering my question about what are the most effective ways of undoing our impact ever more salient.

I encountered From Green to Red on the Human Impact Institutes Creative Climate Award page. More about how the work has been presented around the world can also be found on the artist’s website.

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