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In 1972, a small book entitled The Limits to Growth published by the Club of Rome managed to shake the belief in progress held by wealthy western societies. The concerns raised in the book about the survival of humanity on Planet Earth have long since gained mainstream attention. Then as now, the key issues in such debates are finite resources and the urgent need for more sustainable lifestyles. The impact of the global exploitation of the environment has been taken up as a central theme by the media, art and design.
WEtransFORM brings together more than thirty internationally renowned artists and designers from around the world on such alarming themes as the rapidly dwindling natural reserves of drinking water, fossil fuels (especially oil), food and soil, or the use of rare earth elements by the global computer industry. The exhibition combines statements on our striking ecological footprint with works on the growing islands of plastic in the oceans and mountains of rubbish on land. It assesses the situation with pictures of the way humans have reshaped Earth's surface: the way we alter our world brings endless new suggestions for improvements and approaches to solving problems we ourselves have created!
As well as dystopian scenarios, WEtransFORM also offers insights into the intensive search for alternatives and presents new dialogues between humankind and nature:
counter-models to traditional energy sources, examples of fair production, action taken to reduce consumption and renounce status symbols, personal guidelines for environmentally friendly lifestyles, and models for fairer distribution of resources. This includes works on the 2000-Watt Society, DIY strategies and projects exploring self-sustaining circular economies via concepts such as urban farming and urban mining. Tracing over four decades of engagement with the finite nature of our planet, contemporary art installations and design objects enter into a dialogue with historical precursors.
In this way, the exhibition not only contributes to the long overdue visualization and materialization of theoretical debates, but also aims to contribute potential solutions and encourage action and a change in thinking.
In cooperation with raumlaborberlin