Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The climatically displaced peoples of the Warmings Project

The Warmings Project
Artists’ Statement: Maihyet Burton, Denis Taman Bradette (BeneCorpo)
Autumn 2007

One of the directions that BeneCorpo (artists’ collective) has been exploring artistically is an examination of what the future holds for us culturally and ecologically in the James Bay Lowlands of North-Eastern Ontario and the sprawlzone of Greater Toronto. The contemporary environmental issue of climate change has the potential to transform our cultures profoundly: to make the South potentially uninhabitable (or at least greatly degraded), to make the automobile in its current form useless, and hence the suburbs, redundant. What will Southern urban people do? What chaos will arise? If human migration patterns, over time, were any indication, these refugees from the South, would most likely move northward away from the chaos and the heat.
We are interested in pursuing the idea of a speculative near-future culture: Refugees from the South moving North out of necessity, Northerners’ lives transformed –the coming-together and hybridization of the two cultures. What type of society, spirituality, economies and food-production will develop? What forms of ritual will arise? How long will it take a new generation to forget the (post)industrial culture that we live in? How will people live? What will be their mythologies? What will be their crises and solutions?
We have been developing a visual language to look at these possibilities. We are furthering these examinations by developing architecture, using video, making costumes, devising ritual and objects of worship, creating a future-mythology and the language that will accompany it using sculpture, installation, photography and mixed-media work. Land (150acres of clear-cut forest) has been acquired in the Claybelt of the James Bay Lowlands (100km north of Timmins, Ontario) to be used as a prototype & art-site for further explorations of these ideas.
As the Warmings get worse, and people more desperate, such a society would evolve through further OutsideWorld disintegration and its own isolation. To see transformation through necessity, vigilance in the people and animals portrayed –a New Order: warrior/sentinels, weighty princesses, venerated hagulas. We want to develop (an apocalyptic) language using costume, objects, movement, installation and architectural forms, and to place them in this Nordic, unknown boreal/post-boreal future.

warmings project with bene corpo