everybody knows

In 2018, I started a project to explore the subject of climate change. That very year, the Special Report on Global Warming was published and the word climate change was over time reduced to a kind of background noise. But that didn’t make the subject less relevant.

 

 

It is difficult to see how ones personal actions may make a difference on a global scale – you seem small and insignificant in the worldwide scenario of global warming – but your actions is probably the only thing that you may influence. My project started with the question – Why should it be any different for planet Earth? – and it became the video Everybody Knows and a prose poem:

My first approach was very politically correct and tinged with a feeling of helplessness and righteous resentment towards the larger countries of the world using so many of the world’s resources and throwing so much away without a second thought. I had just started when I attended a talk by the philosopher Timothy Morton. It was a very intellectual talk. It was hard to keep up with him and I wasn’t one of the few people who stayed behind to ask questions; because I had no idea what to ask.

But his talk had in it, a sort of poetry that prompted me to read several of his books where he discusses climate change in a way that includes all of us. It is this feeling that I used for my work as well as aiming at a low-tech feel and humor to balance the enormity of the subject.

 

 

Everybody Knows is an audio-visual essay (8:20 min) and based on the structure of an ancient Greek drama which is to say it includes a prologue, scenes, an exodus and a choir that comments on the story line. In my version, the choir is all female and not like before where the choir used to be all male.

The ancient dramas were demanding; they were trilogies that started at sunrise and went on till sunset. It is difficult to imagine this kind of patience in a contemporary audience who is used to the fast online take on the world and my video includes a fast forward function and very early on, the total duration of Everybody Knows is displayed so you know just how long – or how little – time I require from you; a function that might trigger an inner progress bar in the back of your mind.

Something Else is a short video collage (2:20 min) including selected elements from the first video plus clips and ideas that did not fit into Everybody Knows. Disturbing Beings is a still from the video that is run through an online generator that changes photo files according to set algorithms. It is printed on PVC and is 320 cm x 180 cm high.

 

 

Wonders 1-3 are photo files run through that same online generator, printed on PVC and mounted on 80 x 100 cm wood frames.

 

 

 

 

 

 EK1 is a large print on PVC in variable dimensions.

Ek2 to EK9 are examples of a series of digital prints on PVC, mounted on 20 x 20 cm wood frames. 

© Marianne Casmose