Patchwork of Smart Art

When words fail to explain the urgency of sustainable actions, the use of any other form of expression and creativity becomes essential. Diagrams, images, rhymes, anecdotes, cartoons, short movies can help us to understand and assimilate the environmental and social issues in a sensitive, humoristic and visual way.

For the ordinary citizen, Bansky’s picture says more about global warming than the invaluable reports and predictions of sea level rise delivered by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The virtual world of Avatar better tells the current trade-off between economy and ecology values ​​evoked by French philosopher André Comte-Sponville than any Sustainability for Dummies. The out-of-the box infographics by British David McCandless deliciously activate our visual intelligence to decipher the world, its proportions and its (im)balances.

Given the urgency, creators of all stripes are emerging to address the challenge of communicating sustainability issues. Delighted with this evolution, the Pamplemousse team has selected a series of key art works and events we invite you to explore:

  • 145 countries responded to the challenge launched by the FAO (Food & Agriculture Organization) for the Milano World’s Fair: to represent the theme Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life through the creation of thematic spaces, facilities and architectural works. You have until November 2015 to discover the territory building designed by the XTU architecture firm for the Pavilion of France and other tasty results of this international exhibition.
  • One of Brazilian artist Vik Muniz’s initiatives is presented in the documentary Waste Land. For his photographs, the artist stages militant workers of the vast landfills in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro; each of them interprets a famous painting’s character before placing the bottle caps collected during its day of waste collection on their large-screen projected portrait. Cap after cap, each person becomes an actor of its own life, rediscovers his own face and learns respect for himself. It is a very rich project that mixes issues of identity, self-respect and awareness of the consequences of all disposable and hyper-consumption.
  • Ice and The Sky, which closed the 2015 Cannes Film Festival is a documentary by Luc Jaquet that tells the story of glaciologist Claude Lorius. The scientist was moved to tears on the night of the screening for the recognition that the work and discoveries of his life will save so many others.
  • In 2015, the contest Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year, also organized by the Royal Geographical Society, gathered pictures of pure awareness on the state of the planet. Good news: your smart phone can become your best ally for this type of sustainable action.

Land art, infographics, songs (Respire Mickey 3D), ecodesign, comics are all existing or emerging modes of artistic expression and are beginning to deal with our fundamental subjects.

Beyond the professional initiatives, sustainability offers designated problematic for amateur artists to explore, for civic engagement and individual creativity to bloom and for the advent of a top-down approach of value creation . That’s why we challenged 4 amateur cartoonists to help us to visually translate an extract from our first post:

 “We are all sitting on the same branch, progressively breaking under the weight of our choices. Everyone is at risk of falling. However, some people decide to stop sawing to repair our branch and branch it out while others blindly continue to cut. “

The result? An amazing collection of drawings as diverse as the visions of their authors. Let the pencils talk and to all our present and future contributors: great job!

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