Post Global Wa ...

Post Global Warming Survival Kit

2008, installation

The installation consists of three customized digital projectors, a video splitter, a computer, 5+1 sound system, six night vision devices, and a camping trailer equipped with various communication and measurement tools and devices.

Set in a world where nuclear winter was instigated as a radical solution to global warming and menacing floods, the installation represents the dwelling of a person who observes the sea shoreline in a post-apocalyptic landscape almost devoid of life.

When much of the sunlight is blocked by dust and ashes (as it is in a nuclear winter scenario), seeing in infrared becomes the only survival mode. Based on this assumption, all imagery used in the project is filmed and projected in the near infrared part of the spectrum, which is invisible for the bare human eye but can be captured with modified digital cameras and camcorders and is visible with night vision devices (NVDs). Equipped with NVDs at the entrance to the installation, the viewers walk in the space surrounded by complete darkness, a reverberant bass soundscape and the sense of each other’s presence. Disoriented by the lack of light and confronted with the supernatural appearance of the physical world in infrared as seen through their “prosthesis”, they are immersed into a new kind of sensory perception.

A medley of analogue technical devices and personal belongings is found in the austere interior of the guard’s dwelling. Measuring, recording and transmitting equipment hums and throbs. In a small leather bound notebook he keeps track of time and documents his reality. The only reminiscence of the world before is a tiny Vermeer reproduction on the wall – a girl writing a letter, her hair and dress richly lit by the sun.

The shelter itself is an old-fashioned trailer designed in the first half of the 20th century as part of an ambitious plan for providing mobility to the masses in Nazi Germany. And the video is shot at the coastline of the North Sea, which forms the economic pool of the industrial revolution and is one of the most heavily modified by human activity territories in the world. The loop of the sped-up tide thus closes the cycle of the environmental and climate changes started by the industrial revolution. Another circle that rounds up in the installation is the missing figure of the guard, replaced by the viewer who becomes observer of the environment but also observer of themselves.

References to key sci-fi books and movies are deliberately made in the project. It employs pseudo-scientific terms used by the mass media as shorthand for doomsday scenarios. Turned commonplace and feeble, these notions here are dealt with from post-apocalyptic perspective. Offering a paradoxical and even ironically extreme solution to global warming through nuclear winter the project raises a number of serious questions, like what the future is to bring and what technology, biotechnology and contemporary culture can offer for surviving in a changing environment.

Post Global Warming Survival Kit is produced by Edith Russ Site for Media Art.

Post Global Warming Survival Kit was first presented in the exhibition “Jens Brand / Petko Dourmana,” which took place from 29 November 2008 - 11 January 2009 at Edith Russ Site for Media Art, Oldenburg, Germany. Later on the work was shown at Transmediale, Berlin (2009), Temporary City, Pecs, Hungary (2009), Sonica, Ljubljana (2009), ISEA, Belfast (2009), Siggraph, New Orleans, USA (2009), Microwave, Hong Kong (2009), Sundance Festival, Park City, USA (2010), Videospace Galery, Budapest (2010), Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje (2010), Graffit Gallery (2012), “Zu viel Panzer, zu wenig Hirn”, Augsburg, Germany (2012).

Post Global Warming Survival Kit was nominated for the transmediale Award 2009.


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