The Global Climate Action Summit was a great occasion to think seriously about the future of our planet. I participated in the "eARTh" art exhibition at Senator Scott Wiener's offices in honor of the GCAS 2018. It was a nice gathering, which took place around the same time as Hurricane Florence swept into North Carolina with heavy rains and 90-mph winds. Although exaggerated, it looks like my future visions are grounded in today's realities. Climate change has become a major focus in recent decades, and there are still many challenges to come. Scientists have said climate change will likely increase the intensity and frequency of such extreme weather. It will bring more natural disasters and will hugely impact the future of the human existence.
I tell stories about what the future could hold for us - how humanity is coping with rising temperatures and sea levels. My survivors have to adapt when civilization begins to collapse. Cities are reclaimed by nature and the countryside reverts to its pristine wilderness. Life can pop up anywhere and adapt, even to a rough and chaotic environment.
While climate change is global, I chose initially to focus on impacts observed in the United States. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says that the New York’s coastline has experienced at least a foot of sea-level rise since 1900. Scientists project sea levels up to 50 inches higher. Sea-level rise is locked in for centuries, or even millennia, by heat-trapping greenhouse gases which are already in the atmosphere. As temperatures warm, the prevalence and duration of drought is expected to increase. California experienced its worst drought in recorded history between 2011 and 2016. NASA scientists project a growing risk of „mega droughts“ that last more than two decades. Energy, land use and infrastructure decisions made now will determine the future of our civilization.
In a time, in which the environment is subject to major changes and there are alarming messages, I address two completely new perspectives: On one hand as viewer that is aware of the partial responsibility for the problems in the world, and on the other hand I envision a new relationship with nature – a desire for merging with nature and for re-enchantment of the world.
I’m not an environmentalist. The aim of my artwork is not to preserve us from a future disaster, but I want to confront people with an unsettling possibility. Climate change will not affect everyone equally. Wealthy and well-connected individual may just relocate and will not experience a negative effect in their quality of life. But there are also everyday injustices that will make the present unbearable for so many of us.