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INTERVIEW: Ian Garrett Reports on COP15 and the Arts
INHABITAT: What role do you see the arts playing in Copenhagen? Is there a discernible effect on the COP15 talks? How significant is the artwork?
GARRETT: I don’t think the folks in the room on COP15 are getting out to see all the work that is out there. Most will probably se the CO2 Cube, but even when we spoke to the people responsible for that this afternoon we were all a little wary to say that the art has too much of an effect on policy. If it does, it’s not direct. There is a lot of art, all over the place, in public and in gallery space. 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. So I think it’s less about being discernible and more about being, pardon the pun, environmental.
INHABITAT: Global warming, carbon footprints, ecological responsibility; these are recurring themes in eco-art. Are there any symbols, memes or points of discussion you see reoccurring at COP15?
GARRETT: Luckily, thus far it has rarely been literal, mainly in the street performance and that’s something to argue for in creative demonstrating. A lot of it has been very smart though. There is a lot of work which is generative, taking the science of climate change and making it approachable. the CO2 Cube does that, the Glowing Climate installations do that […] we’re lucky that digital and light based art is directly tied to energy use and therefore it’s a logical medium in which to talk about it. But I see a lot devoted to making numbers mean something, tying imagery to facts. I think there is a clear common thread of trying to make the work Human, Personal and in the same space as the viewer.
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