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INTERVIEW: Ian Garrett Compares the Culture of COP 16 and 15

by , 08/06/11
filed under: Art, Interviews

ian garrett, cop16, cancun mexico, un climate change conference, sustainable design, green design, Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, eco art, environmental art

INHABITAT: In Copenhagen it seemed most of the artworks were occurring despite, not because of, the meetings at the Bella Center. You said: “These creative ventures, in talking about climate change, are reinforcing what people are feeling around town here and they have an increasing voice with the policy makers of the world.” How does that compare with Cancun?

GARRETT: You’re depressing me cause it just doesn’t. Outside of programmed cultural events that are related to the primary conference, there is very little, and what there is of it, like the Kilmaforum10 isn’t particularly well organized. Even that officially programed content is not particularly well organized unless it’s actually in the Cancunmesse.

INHABITAT: But Cancunmesse, as an official “side event” venue, is effectively housing Greenpeace, Fossil of the Day, and many other groups that felt they were excluded from previous talks. How has that affected the role of art?

GARRETT: I think it quelled it. I mean, it’s not really the sole thing of blame. Maybe part of it was about being more inclusive and bridging that divide which calmed the agitated down. Maybe the infrastructure isn’t here. There aren’t museums and galleries. This was the intention of moving the meeting from Mexico City right? To get it away from interfering with day-to-day life and to be less disruptive. Hopefully that means people are focusing on the talks. I haven’t been able to get that sense yet however.

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