Image: Joan Jonas, Moving off the land II, Ocean Space
, Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Venice 2019 © Photo Enrico Fiorese, TBA21-Academy.
The world is currently in the grip of a severe environmental crisis, and it is imperative that we take action to protect our planet. Many companies have taken this challenge and are actively working towards creating a sustainable future for all. Among these companies are art organizations, festivals, and networks that are using their creativity and artistic talents to raise awareness about environmental issues.
While programming is increasingly becoming geared towards issues of sustainability and scarcity, institutions are recognising that simply hosting exhibitions addressing the climate emergency is no longer sufficient. In recent years, art organisations have taken an active role in promoting sustainability and addressing the impact of climate change. In this blog post, we highlight some of the greatest initiatives in the arts that are working towards this direction. Please find our selected initiatives below.
Founded in 2011 by Francesca von Habsburg, TBA21 Academy is a non-profit organisation that aims to "convene artists, scientists, policymakers, and thought-leaders to raise awareness about the urgent need for interdisciplinary, ocean-focused action." The Academy has organised a number of projects and initiatives that explore the intersection of art, science, and the environment, including expeditions to remote oceanic regions, exhibitions, and publications. TBA21 Academy has also founded Ocean Space
based in Venice, a planetary center for exhibitions, research and public programs catalysing critical ocean literacy, collaborative research, and environmental advocacy through the arts.
Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) is an international community of arts organisations working to reduce our sector’s environmental impacts. GCC’s primary goal is to facilitate a reduction of the sector’s CO2 emissions by a minimum of 50% by 2030, as well as promoting zero waste. As a network of 800 members from 20 countries devoted to creating a road map for galleries to reduce their climate emissions, they develop and share ’best practice
’, provide leadership on sector specific environmental issues, and work to leverage the collective power of our membership
to achieve systemic changes.
The Green Art Lab Alliance (gala) is a mycelium-like network of art organisations contributing to environmental sustainability through their creative practice. This international and decentralised alliance aims to amplify the voices of artists and art organisations responding to the various social and environmental issues. The alliance acts as a ‘knowledge alliance’; strategically sharing resources, information and solidarity, and it connects and empowers art centres, museums, residencies, art collectives, activists and grassroots initiatives that are strongly embedded in their local communities. Since 2013 they have grown with partners in Europe, Asia and Latin-America.
To find our more, read their Manifesto
The Ocean Agency
The Ocean Agency is a non-profit organisation that uses art and technology to raise awareness about the importance of marine conservation. They have created an interactive tool called the "Google Street View for Oceans," which allows people to explore underwater ecosystems around the world. They work to identify the most urgent issues and then developing the creative ideas, communications, and collaborations needed to help solve them. The Ocean Agency has also produced a series of stunning photos and videos of coral reefs, highlighting the beauty and fragility of these ecosystems.
Climate is culture: Cape Farewell envisions a sustainable future inspired by the illumination artists give to the urgency of the global climate challenge. Working at the intersection of art and science, Cape Farewell prompts dialogue between leading creatives, scientists and informers. From these conversations compelling artworks grow, conveying the urgency of climate change with simplicity and directness. Originally based in London, Cape Farewell now operates from The WaterShed, a 6-acre wilding site on a former fish farm in Dorset. The small core team works at the centre of an international programme of activity.
These companies are just a few examples of how the arts and the environment can be interconnected. By committing to environmental sustainability, these companies are not only protecting the planet, but also setting an example for others to follow. Whether through exhibitions, expeditions, or educational programs, the arts are playing a vital role in the fight against climate change. As the world becomes more aware of the importance of sustainability, it is likely that we will see more companies in the arts taking similar steps to reduce their environmental impact.
is dedicated to helping the art world adopt technology to facilitate efficient operations. As we continue to grow we will be working on ways to measure and reduce our own environmental impact as well as that of our clients.