SMOG BALLET AND OTHER WORKS: performances co-devised by Homo Sapiens and the Natural Environment and adjudicated by the general public
Resilience 2017 conference
Just before dawn, from a high-rise on the northern border of a city where eight million are still sleeping, a russet blanket can be seen gently touching the rooftops. As light breaks, the blanket begins to rise, stretch, and lift into the blue, dissipating until it is little more than a faint haze. Twenty minutes, brief and graceful, the skyline releve has concluded. Morning has arrived in Bogota. Climate Change, generated mostly by human intervention, is changing the natural patterns of our planet in notable ways. The most recent IPCC report shows irreversible damage: a point of no return. The scientific community has documented and shared their findings for over 50 years to the public with little effect over the root causes of the problem. As climate change progresses, changes in weather and landscape are performed by the natural environment. These changes manifest in explicit sensory spectacles, many of which are accessible to public audiences around the world. Like human-made artworks, these nature-engineered opuses bear an intrinsic, affective impact that reify community through collective experience. Part post- contemporary performance, part scientific scavenger hunt, SMOG BALLET AND OTHER WORKS documents the anthropogenic impact and the correspondent environmental response in specific sites around the world where environmental performances of climate change are made visible through active phenomena. This praxis-based participatory research draws upon public-space cultural production technique, performance theory, and environmental sciences to establish a model for crowd-sourced archival processes of the ephemeral performances ofclimate change. The research gathers empirical and qualitative data by inviting citizen scientist- aesthetes worldwide to: track and monitor changes in their own environments; document environmental performances of climate change; record embodied experiences of environmental transformation and solastalgia.