Yris Apsit, Nina Calderone, Eric Lemmon, Soraya-Thashima Rutschmann
What is climate change? How do individuals perceive certain aspects of it? Can we ever fully comprehend the idea of our changing climate?
Questions like these are what inspired Yris Apsit, Nina Calderone, Eric Lemmon, and Soraya-Thashima Rutschmann’s transdisciplinary work Climate Exquis, the title of which is a neologism based on a fusion of “climate change” with “cadavre exquis”. The approach taken to Climate Exquis is the similar to the cadaver exquis, where players each write the first paragraph of a story and then pass on the last sentence to the next players who then write the next paragraph according to that last sentence. There are key differences in the Climate Exquis approach, however, as each individual in the group interpreted the climate-linked terms of “nutrition”, “mobility” and “habitation” through their own medium, which then served as a seed that was passed onto the other members. The rest of the group, then, responded to this initiating kernal through their own medium, with all the parts ultimately assembled into a video—with sound, text, film and painting.
Using this playful method, the group tried to capture how fundamentally interconnected climate change is, even as our lived experience mostly elides this fact. After all, an individual can only ever experience a tiny, subjective part of the emergency. The work does not seek to show the usual imagery of reddened, temperature gradient maps, lines representing global average temperatures, or forests on fire, in order to didactically demonstrate the scope of our shared problem. Instead, it binds a variety of interpretations of nutrition, mobility and habitation into a matrix of directed associations that point towards the hyperobject of climate change.