Monday, September 6, 2010

A Map of a Dream of the Future

Imagine how climate change will affect our life eighty years in the future. What will happen? How will we deal with it?

In fact, the question needs to be asked, can we deal with it? Eighty years from now will see the issues being tackled by another generation. It is the children of today who will build upon ideas and formulate solutions to ensure our survival through a changing world. Having said that, how do our children feel about climate change?

A Map of a Dream of the Future will give you the answer.

In an incredibly immersive experience, artist Nicolas Low with the University of Tasmania’s School of Environment and Geography’s Associate Professor Elaine Stratford have brought together a contemporary art installation that represents data collected from one hundred Tasmanian students from grades five and six. The students were provided with an education kit and then given the opportunity to respond to questions about climate change.

Data of any kind can have a stigma attached: we expect dots on a page or numbers on a chart. The beautiful thing about this data is that it is represented in the form of a three-dimensional living graph suspended in space. A hanging garden made entirely from Tasmanian native species that accurately pinpoints the thinking of each individual child. Even the plants themselves have been specifically chosen based on their resilience and then assigned accordingly to the respective data.

As I moved through the dimly light space, treading carefully across the axis, it became clear how many of our children are optimistic, how many are pessimistic, how many will rely on technology and how many feel that the solutions lay in a return to nature.

Powerful, beautiful, surreal and factual.

A must-see.

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