When you make acquaintance with something, you invite it into your mental world. Then it’s only a matter of time before you get to know it better. The imagination gets seriously involved now, the conversation deepens, the plot thickens. Being hospitable—truly hospitable—involves opening oneself to the unknown, and the gifts of the guest can change the host profoundly. Becoming follows. Becoming disturbs the existing set-up, crosses ‘clear’ boundaries, confuses convenient categories. Becoming is about mixing, spilling, leaking, seeping, suffusing, pervading. It’s about telling strange tales, making nonsense, weathering the weather, claiming the climate, and taking the temperature of our times.
Dear Climate responds to the psychic dimensions of climate change and global ‘weirding’. It is a training program for the spirit and the imagination, using a tone, aesthetic and vocabulary that avoid crisis and catastrophe. Dear Climate animates the familiar and ordinary; instead of desperation and heroism, it fosters playfulness and friendliness. Dear Climate is after a conceptual nudge rather than a paradigm shift. Its media are images, written and spoken texts, and sound. Its venues are home screens and walls, streets, and galleries. Its form is open-ended: more to come.
Four people make up the team responsible for Dear Climate: Marina Zurkow, a media artist focused on near-impossible nature and culture intersections; Oliver Kellhammer, a Canadian land artist, permaculture teacher, activist and writer; Una Chaudhuri, Professor of English, Drama, and Environmental Studies at New York University; and producer and director Fritz Ertl, who teaches theatre at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.