Thursday, October 4, 2007

Remains of Rainforest #1

This abstract canvas conveys a sense of what one might perceive on the site of a rainforest clearing project.

This initial painting of the series is not tied to a specific Rainforest or deforestation incident.

Friday, September 28, 2007

After the Glacier's Gone #1

acrylic on canvas
30" x 36"

** ye s t e r d a y * w a s * a l l * w e * h a d **

CO2 Art unveils a project that portrays the Earth's receding glaciers based on an abstract conception of what could be exposed when the Glacier is gone.

The artist, Tatiana Iliina-Gooden, has employed her signature strategy of using images that are pleasing to the eye, and expertly painted, to imply a subject that is, in reality, less pleasant to contemplate.

The images, though stark and apparently lifeless, seem to hold out a hope that the planet can continue to be a place of beauty even after the glaciers are gone. At the same time, the viewer is moved by Iliina-Gooden's adept palette knife work to feel a new degree of urgency in relation to the whole global warming situation, as they see glaciers portrayed as dirt, rocks and pools of water.

This first canvas of the project was shipped out today to a buyer in South Africa.

Friday, February 2, 2007

What's Coming Down the Alternative Pipeline

A report released two days ago by the Canadian Boreal Initiative lays out a plausible basis for assessing the value of environmental "services" delivered naturally by the Mackenzie River watershed. They came up with an annual value of about $448 billion in environmental contributions by the basin if left in pristine condition, as compared with the $40-some-odd billion annual GDP of the area based mostly on resource extraction.

This, at the same time as a new incarnation of the long-shelved '70s mega-project "The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline" is gaining plenty of steam as the "Mackenzie Gas Project".

Let's call it what it is. This project represents nothing more than a massively destructive means for mainlining profits into corporate coffers.

CO2 Art is pleased to announce an alternative pipeline.

This is a pipeline of visual art, fine art and conceptual art that address the problems of climate change.

We have begun several projects in 2007:

* CO2 Art Expedition to "Find Snow" and "Make Water"
* CO2 Art Social Conservation Project: "Urban Snow Removal as a Threatened Culture"
* CO2 Art National Statement: "The Life of Hockey"

We had an extremely busy first month of the year and first month of existence as an organization.

The work is continuing and will be updated here. Stay with us!

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Challenge is to Show Viability, Integrity or ?

Traditionally, art, and visual art in particular, has often been a medium of activism.

Given this, it's curious that there has not been more art dedicated to the idea of preserving the planet. There has been some, yes. OK a lot. But nothing that has captured the imagination of more than a infinitely small fraction of the population.

Only a few artists whose work has had a planetary flavour have gained notoriety in the art world. Some of these have included Christos and Jeanne-Claude, who "wrapped" islands, among other things, and Canadian Gregory Colbert, whose "nomadic" photography exhibition Ashes and Snow opens this March in Tokyo after a high profile opening show in New York and several months on the Santa Monica Pier last year.

And there have been some others. Plenty worth mentioning even, but very few who have gained recognition in society at large. There are some outstanding exceptions. Among the most notable, is the German artist Joseph Beuys, whose work included planting 7,000 oaks for his epic exhibition Dokumenta 7 in 1982 and getting elected to the Bundestag as a member of the Green Party. Then again, ask your neighbours if they've heard of this guy, what he represented or what kind of art he did. (Beuwys passed away in 1986)

One could even say that the whole concept of the landscape, and other forms of portraying what we see around us, represent a current of art somewhere in the environmental genre. It is true, of course, but stretches the idea of activism beyond the range we could paddle our birch bark canoes.

The issues today are certainly different than they were in Beuys' time or, say, during the heyday of Greenpeace. The issues today today have adorned a more rational wardrobe, that of "sustainability", which is nevertheless up against it in the business and industrial mainstream. Interestingly, visual art is wedged into the same tiny economic space as environmental sustainability: the space of very desirable and well intended and appreciated ideals which are often considered commercially infeasible and unproductive in society at large.


So, is the best course of action to set out to prove viability or just say pi*s on it and take extreme actions to attract more attention? A little of both?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Welcome to CO2 Art!

CO2 Art is a new initiative unleashed in January, 2007.

Vision: CO2 Art seeks to highlight and positively influence environmental issues and factors affecting the health of the planet.

Mission Statement: CO2 Art, by use of innovative, unorthodox and traditional means of artistic expression, intends to become a positive force for change in societal attitudes towards the environment, at the personal, local, national and international levels.

Have a great day!