“Dear Climate” is an art project that was conceived as “a new way to talk about the weather.” The project is a collection of posters and sound collages that take on climate change with a more personal and conversational tone. Created by Marina Zurkow, Una Chaudhuri, Oliver Kellhammer, Frits Ertl and Sarah Rothberg, it is currently on display as part of the DUMBO Arts Festival in Brooklyn.
The creators explain what "personal" means to them in their artist's statement:
“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?”
The work is free of the typical political discourse that surrounds climate change, and accepts flatly the reality that climate change is happening now. The posters are at once irreverent and serious, at times taking on a flippant tone (“Climate change? Will it make me look fat?”) while at other times making dire warnings (“Face the food shortages.”)
Yet much is left up to the viewer to interpret, and the images invite multiple readings. “Stay close to home” sounds like the kind of warning one might expect to get when facing extreme weather events, yet these words are paired with a friendly camping tent, perhaps suggesting a celebration of local exploration and low-carbon travel.
At other moments, the posters seem to offer advice such as “Flow with the floods” and “Dump your disposables.”
Hi-res versions of the posters are available for download at the Dear Climate website, and the creators encourage wide distribution of the images. They suggest you post them at your work place, slip them into your local newsstand, or use them to sheet mulch your food forest.