Compelling visuals occasionally have the power to inspire us to take action and make us aware of the urgency of environmental shifts. The Canary Project’s Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris have compiled a startling collection of color photographs shot in sixteen diverse landscapes around the word as a means to highlight evidence of global climate change and the devastation that has already occurred.
The Canary Project bus ad, Denver, 2007
In July 2007 Sayler and Morris partnered with The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver to display The Canary Project’s photographs in an urban setting using a fleet of forty-five city buses as moving billboards with “This is What Global Warming Looks Like” emblazoned on their sides. This was the first of many projects slated to literally transpose these images from gallery, museum, or print contexts into unorthodox public spaces, classrooms, and everyday venues where a wider audience might access the power of this message.
The “canary in the coal mine,” though low-tech in nature, has traditionally served mankind as a harbinger of danger in the same way perhaps that The Canary Project’s team of scientists, writers and artists aim to present their arresting images in a manner that speaks openly and fluently to diverse audiences across international borders and ecological zones.
The Canary Project, phase II will include a photographic series highlighting examples of what Sayler, Morris, and their team foresee as solutions to global warming, i.e. sources of alternative energy, preparations for already predicted changes, and various green products. The team is also making their images available free of charge to organizations working on environmental and sustainability issues. Their first taker was UNESCO, which will feature a Canary image on the cover of its soon-to-be published journal, Globalization and Education for Sustainable Development.