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Climate Change, Art, and Performance

September 30, 2009

Two examples of ads that use animals to highlight the dangers of climate change illustrate very different approaches. This 30 second animation is in a cartoon style while this one-minute commercial uses a more realistic style and delivers a bleaker message. The Blue Man Group incorporates this multimedia piece into their live performances. Improv Everywhere is known for their public events that involve large numbers of volunteers, like an the freeze that was staged at Grand Central Station in New York. They don’t plan these events to communicate a message or to suppoet a cause, but we can learn from their techniques. The Yes Men design their pranks to expose and embarrass coporate leaders and unethical corporate practices. Their projects include imitation websites, such as this one for Halliburton, and fake products, such as the survivaball, and related promotions. A recent project involved the design and distribution of a fake edition of the New York Post, which they used to communicate factual information about the possible effects of Climate Change on New York. The Yes Men have also launched the Fix the World Challenge, which invites anyone to come up with an action using their tactics and upload a video of the result. Mark Jenkins, who is known for his street art installations, teamed up with Greenpeace to produce a series of works to draw attention to homelessness among polar bears.

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