Dear Climate

2014 – ongoing

posters, sound, installations

Core Collaborators: Una Chaudhuri, Fritz Ertl, Oliver Kellhammer, Marina Zurkow
Web Development: Pat Shiu
Sound Design: Pejk Malinovski
Typography: Nancy Nowacek
Voice Overs: Eliza Foss, Seth Kanor, Jane Cramer

Supported by NYU Visual Arts Initiative Awards

Dear Climate is exploring new modes of address through the creation of a collection of ”inner climate” tools. These tools—posters, audio meditations and letters—are designed to nudge participants toward new relations with the greater-than-human world. The free, downloadable posters use the language of agitprop and a “fast read” to create a jolt of relational suggestion. Alternately, the podcasts explicitly leverage the guided meditation model, creating a quiet internal space in which to encounter new narratives, poems and speculations about the climate, our “dear climate.”

The old joke—“Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”—isn’t so funny anymore. Lots of people are trying to do something about the weather. Climate change is on the geopolitical agenda, if only in time for us to realize that it’s too late to do anything meaningful. Maybe the problem’s not that no one’s been doing anything about the weather, but that we’ve been talking about it in the wrong way: the old “let’s fix it” way.  Now that the weather’s changed, is it also time to change the way we talk about it?

We began Dear Climate by looking for a new way to talk about the weather.  We wanted a different vocabulary from the one we were hearing from the “survival community”: instead of crisis and catastrophe, we wanted the familiar and ordinary; instead of desperation and heroism, playfulness and friendliness. Instead of imagining mass movements or calling for community action, we were interested in finding a more personal relationship to climate change. Remembering the Sixties slogan, “the personal is political,” we wondered if the politics of climate change had evaded the personal for too long?  Of course we were well aware of the emphasis on personal responsibility in the environmental movement—the injunctions to practice simplicity, recycle paper and plastic, avoid waste, and reduce consumption.  But what about deeper realms of the personal, like pleasure, fantasy, fear, desire, sensation, vision, imagination?  

From the Dear Climate project website


These Nine Artists Will Help You Understand the Future of the Planet, Jackie Mansky, Smithsonian Magazine, 2017

Rice’s solar-charged FotoFest installations aim to stir up a storm, Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, 2016

Ethics, Ecology and the Future: Art and Design Face the Anthropocene, Kayla Anderson, Leonardo, 2016

Dear Climate is a playful yet dark invitation to meet climate change, Margaret Badore, Treehugger, Sept 2014

Dear Climate, How do I Love Thee?, Tonight at Dawn, Sept 2014

Awesome ‘Dear Climate’ Posters Help You Meet, Befriend, and Become Climate Change, Kate Good, One Green Planet, Sept 2014