“What’s My Worth” challenges Union Square park goers with one artist’s climate-centric performance

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Does the climate crisis change how we value ourselves? This is a driving question behind artist Marie Christine Katz’s reflective performance piece appropriately titled “What’s My Worth”. “What’s My Worth” is a contender in this years Creative Climate Awards, curated by the Human Impacts Institute and taking place this past September and October.

Marie Christine Katz joined the Human Impacts Institute (HII) on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014, for a special rendition of the piece in NYC’s ever-dynamic Union Square. The performance consisted of a dramatic monologue and audience interaction inspired by Katz’s personal journals, in which she struggles with topics like whether to get take out or eat in, financial difficulty, and whether one person can even make a difference. She brings with her a suitcase full of gathered lint and gold wire, which she attempts to use as a material for clothing. Her motivation comes from both environmental concern and financial struggle. Throughout, she asks her audience, which in this case are Union Square park goers and passersby, how climate change makes them feel about their own self-worth. Working off the curiosity or confusion of her public audience, Katz delivers her own version of an “internal struggle” between feeling guilty about consuming known environmental “bads” versus making financially and environmentally friendly decisions.

HII educators were on site to document and film the performance and talk to observers and participants.

Katz was born in Sierre, Switzerland, and now works and lives in New York City. She received her B.A. from Empire College in 1990 and was artist-in-residence at The Field in 2010 and Art Omi in 2011.

Interested in more from Marie Christine Katz or other climate-inspired art? Join us for this years Creative Climate Awards Ceremony to see details from this event and others– the ceremony will take place October 30th at the Fitzroy Gallery in NYC’s Lower East Side.

As an official part of Climate Week NYC and in partnership with Positive Feedback and Artbridge, the Human Impacts Institute’s Fourth Annual Creative Climate Call to Action brings together the visual arts, performance art, and film to install climate-inspired public works throughout New York City. In an effort to inspire people to think more critically about our actions and their impacts, The Creative Climate Awards program uses creativity to broaden the climate conversation, inspire action, and to combine art and education with diverse climate themes.

See the entire lineup of events for the Creative Climate Awards.

By Tess Clark, HII Development Coordinator

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