On Saturday, September 20th, 2014, Superhero Clubhouse, a collective of artists and environmental advocates, performed their most recent creation, Earth (A Play About People). This work in progress took place on Governor’s Island and is one of the many performances in the running for a Creative Climate Award.
In the show, the audience was taken on a voyage through time and space following our protagonists, a couple questioning the meaning of their lives and a life yet to come. The couple must decide, in the face of overpopulation and environmental degradation, whether or not they want to bring a child into the world. As we traveled separately with each protagonist, we hear advice from all around the globe, from Japan to Argentina to a place out of this world; we hear from families, a scientist from the United Nations, and even from gods. We aren’t given any answers but left with more questions, cultivating a seed of inquiry in the audience and forcing us to question how our choices will affect the future.
An excited aspect to this play is the creative process. It was made in collaboration by teams of artists working remotely, around the world, which made for a bit of a confusing timeline but one that was multicultural and multi-dimensional. All the material was inspired by themes and questions related to population. “Now, as the global population climbs toward 10 billion, life expectancy increases, resources become precious, and the consequences of climate change barrel down on us, how we personally and globally consider the effects of our species’ multiplication has never been more crucial. Is there a limit to humanity? Are we responsible for each other? How do we balance the beauty and brilliance of our species with the impact our very presence has on the world we rely on?”
The play sparked a riveting and heated discussion to follow, and allowed for the audience to connect the pieces by speaking directly with the playwright. The play took the very impersonal and detached issue of climate change and through content, creation, and intimate performance connected it to the human experience.
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 Awards 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 LeAnne Harvey, Community Relations Manager, Human Impacts Institute