Sustainable spaceships, to Bloomsbury and beyond

2013-10-19-small-global-extreme-energy

Small Global: Extreme Energy by artists D-Fuse was one of my favourite memories from Bloomsbury Festival 2013, a Festival I directed.

D Fuse’s installation was sited in the basement of Senate House, which inspired George Orwell’s 1984 Ministry of Truth

D-Fuse’s work at the Festival was a haunting immersive multi-screen installation that projected maps and statistical data of the impact of consumerist greed on our society and nature. It was beautiful to experience and yet shocking and disturbing at the same time. It felt like being lost in a sci-fi film, wandering around an alien spaceship that was observing and processing information about Earth, and how it was destroying itself.

An earlier version of Small Global that focused on deforestation

Small Global has travelled the world as an ongoing project beginning at EyeBeam New York in 2005 with an exploration of the impact of deforestation. In the following years the installation has toured China for the contemporary art festival Get it Louder, as well as the Netherlands, Argentina, New Zealand and Germany.

The 2013 Extreme Energy version examines human rights and recent desperate new methods of fossil fuel extraction such as fracking. The work was originally exhibited in the basement of Senate House and commissioned by an Arts and Humanities Research Council programme at School of Advanced Study, with support from Arts Council of England.

Glastonbury’s Greenpeace field

Following a stint at the University of the Arts London as part of Green Week the project was shown in a geodesic dome at the Greenpeace field last month.

These Festivals, like Bloomsbury, offer a captive and hungry audience for art that carries messages of the unsustainable exploitation of our planet.

I first encountered the Small Global movement on a team trip I organised to East London to celebrate the opening of the Lime Wharf Gallery. We had dinner inside the gallery as we sat around an extraordinary carved map of the world created by the design studio Atmos. I’ve worked with Atmos in the past and knew they would offer creative inspiration to the Festival team.

The epic Worldscape dining table by Atmos

D-Fuse were speaking at the event and this led to a fantastic collaboration with School of Advanced Study led by Dr. Michael Eades in the Bloomsbury Festival a few months later.

A project which began as a conversation around a map of the world continues to be a globally important story. I hope D-Fuse’s sustainability spaceship flies on to inspire change wherever it goes next.

If you’re interested in hosting Small Global at your venue or festival get in touch with D-Fuse here

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