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The Art World’s take on COP15

December 15, 2009

“Where do we go from here?”

Leading artists, designers and thinkers met for a symposium about future solutions to the climate challenges of today at Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art.

‘Where do we go from here?’ was the question that brought a panel of creative minds together on Saturday December 12 at Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art, located on the coast just North of Copenhagen.

“The only way to address anything professionally is to be an artist,” was the rather bold remark by Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. Along with his fellow panellist such as environmental entrepreneur Kresse Wesling, scientist and artist Sissel Tolaas and Matthias Schuler, engineer, he addressed future scenarios in the arts and design world in the light of the challenges of today.

It was a discussion that brought the panel and its audiences to the far corners of the art world, reality, perception and of course the goings-on at COP15.

One of the important lessons to be learned from the climate issues of today, the panel agreed, was that there is too much focus on energy. We need to start focusing on resources instead. As Mr. Schuler said, “We have to stop thinking about waste, and start thinking about materials.”

The morning session of the symposium focused on the more philosophical sides of art and ethics while the afternoon session took a more practical approach.

The panel shared their experiences with the audience, like the creation of the world’s first carbon neutral city, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, and how to turn every single one of the UK’s fire hoses into luxury handbags.

The panel also noted that sustainability is not about constant growth, and that more consumption is not the way forward. So where do we go from here? Towards new consumer awareness, according to Mr. Schuler “It’s not true that consumption makes us happy. We need to find new ways of happiness,” he said.

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