Climate Change Concern Studio is an interactive project. The installation is set up like an old- fashioned portrait studio with a landscape backdrop and a couple of lamps for illumination. The participant is asked to consider five different statements about climate change and pick one that he/ she can relate to. A cardboard sign is made to reflect the statement. The participant is then photographed against the backdrop and two copies of the image are printed- one for the participant to keep, and one to pin up on the studio wall.
Climate Change Concern Studio was first shown in February 2014 at the independent art fair Supermarket in Stockholm. There were more than 500 participating visitors during the three days of the fair, resulting in some 300 portraits on the wall. The participatory element of the installation proved to be an efficient and successful way to engage the audience in a dialogue about a serious topic, while retaining a sense of enjoyment in the process.
I have explored themes relating to climate change, environmental concerns and models of sustainable structures in my art for the past six years. My main motivation has been a desire to explore an era which in so many ways is characterized by the rapid unravelling of narratives and structures hitherto considered to be permanent.
The Climate Change Concern project sprung out of a sense of frustration about the state of things- the rapidly approaching scenarios of environmental collapse, a global over-consumption of non-renewable sources of energy and an overall lack of political clout to bring about the changes necessary. I was curious- how do other people feel about this?
I devised the project as a means to explore ways to engage an audience within the framework of art, a simple set-up that could lead to an exchange of ideas.
The image printed on the backdrop is a view from a 600 million year old meteorite crater in Ostrabothnia, Finland. The impact site is a flat disc with a diameter of 6 kilometers. The whole area was inundated until the 20´s, when it was drained with a system of ditches, yielding an almost perfectly flat disc with very fertile soil in a landscape otherwise dominated by forest and rocky terrain. I had come to Finland to work on a project that focused on environmental disasters, and got fascinated by the crater- a place where a disastrous event radically transformed climate and topography in an instant a long time ago; to become a site with unusually beneficial features for humans and wildlife alike (The crater is a major resting point for cranes and other migratory birds).