This translation is based on an article on Vice with the clickbait headline ‘The Climate Change Paper So Depressing It’s Sending People to Therapy’. The article is reflecting on how people reacted to the deep adaptation paper by “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy.” by professor Jem Bendell. The paper has quotes like “We are about to play Russian Roulette with the entire human race with already two bullets
loaded”. In the paper he draws some dark conclusions about our future on this planet. He concludes that it is too late to stop climate change from devastating our world and that climate-induced societal collapse is now inevitable in the near future. According to the paper this could happen within a decade. Bendell submitted his paper to a well respected academic journal for publication. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal (SAMPJ) told him that the paper was in need of “major revisions” meaning that he had to alter his conclusions. On that he answered to
the editor of Vice: “I couldn’t completely rewrite the paper to say that I don’t think collapse is inevitable. It was asking for a different paper.” The critique he received on his paper was not that his conclusions were incorrect but that it seemed to be too controversial. Jem Bendell posted his paper to his own blog and went viral through word of mouth. There have been cases in which people go through depression after reading this paper, or even moved to the countryside to live off the grid and wait out the apocalypse.
I reacted to it with an animated poster. With this poster I am illustrating the inevitability of the paper and the feeling of pointlessness that some people felt after reading it. You see a loading screen and above it says: “Environmental collapse loading”. The moving shadow implicates the clock ticking and the change of background color indicates the change of temperature, from warm to cold, inspired by the colors of a thermometer. In the rectangle
underneath the loading circle you are provided with options on what you can do in the meantime. But with the time of the collapse being set and inevitable all the suggestions seem equally pointless given that the outcome will be the same.
2. Rebel Chique
In his boutique, to celebrate his anniversary, fashion designer and pop culture enthusiast Paul Smith showed a collection of screen printed posters produced by Atelier Populaire, in support of the protest by the French students and workers. All were mounted on a jagged slab of concrete. Inside, shoppers could buy an exclusive, hand covered, hardback album, priced at £1,200 and limited to just 68 copies, consisting of 40 of the most powerful posters then on show at the nearby Hayward Gallery in an exhibition titled “May 68: Street Posters from the Paris Rebellion”. In his article for Design Observer, ‘Utopian Image: Politics and Posters 03.10.2013’ writer/critique Rick Poynor was critical about the use of protest posters and the way they are presented now-a-days. He talked about how the posters are now judged by their “edgy” esthetics, how they are put in a different context such as in a museum and how they are sold for high prices making it that the meaning, content, and purpose of the poster gets lost. Their rightful place is in the centers of conflict, that is to say in the streets and on the walls of the factories. To use them for decorative purposes, to display them in bourgeois places of culture or consider them as objects of aesthetic interest is to impair both their function and their effect. .Even to keep them as historical evidence of a certain stage in the struggle is a betrayal, for the struggle itself is of such primary importance that the position of an “outside” observer is a fiction which inevitably plays into the hands of the ruling class.
With the Rebel Chique poster I am highlighting the adaptation of events and cultures for fashion and design without doing any justice to the content nor to the people they steal it from. By using the esthetics and format of a lifestyle interior design magazine I’m making a satire of the behaviour and choice of words in lifestyle magazines like ELLE, Vogue and Cosmo.
‘Fiction as a Method’ by Job K Shaw and Theo Reeves-Evison, especially the introduction of the book, talks about this fictional place in the middle of
the earth where the equator and the median meet. If you sail there you will see just a buoy with a sensor, but according to your computer it is a very busy place. It is the exact place that all the computers and calculators in the world are calibrated on. It is coordinate 0.0. When your GPS is not
responding or has no information the computer reads it as NULL, which the machine can also translate as 0.0, meaning the computer thinks that you are or your photo is being taken on this specific spot in the Atlantic Ocean. The people looking into this topic before me called it Null Island.
I made a moving poster with two axes crossing. The above letters are spelling the word “real” but the letters are moving and suddenly you cannot read it anymore. Is this still real?