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Odyssey: Climate

This post comes from Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

All photos credit: Nikolai Wolff/Fotoetage

This information was shared with me by Natalie Driemeyer. Hearing about the festival and seeing the amazing photos that Natalie sent me makes me wish I could have attended.

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This past June, the transdisciplinary festival ODYSSEY: CLIMATE  took place at the municipal theatre in Bremerhaven, Germany.

At the centre of the festival was the CLIMATE-PARCOURS. Actors, performers, musicians and dancers performed in exceptional venues – extreme-climate-spaces – dealing with the elements (fire, water, earth, air) and the extreme natural events caused by climate change. The artists were supported in their work by scientists from various fields. This transdisciplinary exchange allowed participants a different, more sensual approach to the creation of visions for our future on the planet; it opened up new possibilities and looked at our chances for adapting to new circumstances and ways of life.

The festival was proud to have both the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research as partners. The involved scientists didn’t just advise the artists, some of them stood on stage as well.

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The festival presented guest-performances that dealt with climate change. The performer Eva Meyer-Keller cooked natural disasters with the help of gourmet chefs – naturally, everyone had a taste of the catastrophe. Anna Mendelssohn brought her one-woman conference on climate change Cry Me A River. And the renowned architect, designer and urban planner Friedrich von Borries let the audience in on his visions for our future ways of living.

The International Theatre Institute (ITI) asked performing artists from around the world to join in a live Skype debate. Artists from South America, Asia, and Africa spoke about the situation in their country and about their theatrical approaches to the topic.

In front of the theatre a tent city, the KLIMA-ZELT-STADT, hosted a scientific conversation and a laboratory for sustainable urban development. Food, which supermarkets would have thrown away, was served, films were screened, bands played, and a photo-exhibit about life in Antarctica was presented.


Climate is very topical in Bremerhaven: the city has become a major centre of excellence on climate change due to its scientific bodies and as a location for the offshore wind energy industry. Furthermore, Bremerhaven, which lies in the estuary of the river Weser, needs to adapt to man-made climate change. A few weeks prior to the festival, the new embankment, which was raised by two meters, was re-opened. Energiekonsens, a non-profit company that works on energy conservation in the region, advised the festival about CO2-minimization. For the CO2-emissions that could not be prevented 1 € per ticket went towards the climate fund “Klimafonds.”

Thanks to support from the German Federal Cultural Foundation as well as from the municipal environmental agency and friends of the theatre, the artists involved were able to continue their examination of relevant social themes through festivals, as begun with the festival ODYSSEY: HEIMAT (home/belonging).

For more information (in German):

Filed under: Multidisciplinary, Performance

Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

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This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Reblogged from CHRIS FREMANTLE:

Billy Klüver reminds us of Jean Tinguely’s work on collapse in Artists, Engineers, and Collaboration Klüver-Billy-Artists-Engineers-and-Collaboration (published in Culture on the Brink: Ideologies of Technology, A Manifesto for Cyborgs. Bender, G. and Druckrey, T. (Eds) Dia Center for the Arts, Discussions in Contemporary Culture Number 9. Seattle: Bay Press, 1994).

Jean Tinguely came to New York City in early 1960. On seeing the city for the first time, he decided to build a large machine that would violently destroy itself in front of an audience in a theater, throwing off parts in all directions.

Read more… 260 more words

Speaking of collapse, Unclear Holocaust is a feature-length autopsy of Hollywood’s New York-destruction fantasy, gleaned from over fifty major studio event-movies and detourned into one relentless orgy of representational genocide. It is the unrivaled assembly of the greatest amount of capital and private property heretofore captured in one frame, that, with unfathomable narrative efficacy, suicides itself in an annihilatory flux of fire, water, and aeronautics.


ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge Research, Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

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