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culture

Art History as Evidence of Climate Change?

Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson

Context: The climate change clues hidden in art history

The endemic representational ambiguity of art is an inevitable source of doubt in regards to veracity in a context of deriving Climate facts through the artefacts of Art History.  A useful comparison of contemporary artistic reflections of environment and climate must always – and perhaps necessarily – be complicated by the complexity and depth of our own referential and technologically-mediated information spaces.

Art and culture is always – in gestalt – self-representational, overtly or otherwise as a function of emergent complexity in and as communications systems. The experience of nature, of historical and geological change, and of ourselves has moved in somewhat dramatic ways into an altered, contemporary set or system of (shared) experiences and anxieties regarding nature and the environment.

That said, a doubt born of ambiguity is a foundational strength – not a weakness – of art. Comparative histories of representation are much like art itself – they provide proliferating degrees of interpretive freedom through which we *might* intuit a generalised experience of historical (environmental) contexts. We should not and never assert proof this way as those who seek to discredit the Climate facts will leverage any aperture of opportunity they stumble across.

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