Meet Acclimatize, the Moderna Museet participatory platform for renowned and climate conscious artists to help change minds, and for users to submit their own works on climate change. Ylva Hillström, Curator Education at the Moderna Museet helps us shed light on the belief behind the project.
Climate change is both a trendy and hotly debated subject. How does Acclimatize contribute meaning to the topic with an artistic perspective?
A lot of the debate is focused around numbers and graphs. How many more degrees can the earth tolerate, how many polar bears risk extinction, how fast are the polar caps melting, and so on. To make us all fully understand the consequences of these facts, we believe that art and creativity can play a vital role. It can inspire change and action. Acclimatize invites people to use their creativity to express their thoughts and feelings around this topic. It is our experience that people feel empowered when they express themselves creatively, and in order to stop climate change we do desperately need to act and not despair. Olafur Eliasson talks in his interview for the Acclimatize site about Ice Watch, an art installation that he made for COP 21 in Paris. He placed twelve blocks of arctic ice in the middle of Paris, so that people could touch the ice and physically experience the ice melting away. He suggests that when you have a personal, tangible experience of something, it sinks in in a different way than if you just read or hear about it. We believe that Acclimatize will allow people to touch climate change, figuratively speaking.
Acclimatize is very shelf limited project; why make it so short?
Well, we have planned for it to be live for two months, but are now considering to extend it with one extra month. We regard the site as a digital exhibition, and exhibitions usually are limited in time. It is of course also a question of resources, since it is quite a lot of work to manage this growing think tank on a daily basis. However, when the site closes and no more entries can be uploaded, it will still be open for viewing for at least one more year. We want it to be think tank that will keep inspiring change.
How will the content gathered on the Acclimatize platform be communicated to a more mainstream audience?
Since it is a digital project, we believe that social media will play a crucial role in spreading the content. If people who upload contributions also share their entries on social media and tag #acclimatize, we think that we will reach a broad audience. In fact, we already see the effects of this.
Everybody is welcome to take part, not only people who are working with art or in other creative fields. For example, we reach out to preschools and schools and hope to see more contributions from young makers in the time to come. Also, since Acclimatize is about both creativity and climate change, it has the potential of reaching both people who are interested in art but not necessarily in sustainability issues, and vice versa.
How heavily are featured artists some of them really famous and influential, involved in the project conception?
We contacted these amazingly creative people and told them about the project. They were all very enthusiastic and agreed to be part of the project through the filmed interviews heading the site. The same thing goes for the contributors to the Journal section of the site, we contacted them and asked them if they wanted to write about climate change and sustainability from their respective professional fields. We have met a lot of positive response from the all the people we have been in touch with.
Thank you to the Moderna Museet!