W.e.t. is a new-media art project that explores the emotional impact of climate change using digitally mediated audience participation. Using w-e-t.net as it's base, the project invites people to imagine what their future will be like in a world where extreme climate change has shifted humanity's base from earth to water. The project shifts between the location agnostic web space w-e-t.net and hyper-localised, reactive installations such w.e.t. in Venice, a show held earlier this year at Spazio Ridotto.
The project pivots around questions that ask viewers to share their vision of what a floating community would be like, then mixed media and video works are created by the artist inspired by the responses.
In many ways, art has always centered around fantastical visions of the world - concentrated spaces where the limitations of reality are removed. In w.e.t., audiences are given the space to imagine a world where despite extreme change's we can be 'happier'. The project reveals surprising insights on what this means to people. Through the use of technology, the process is opened up to anyone with a 3G connection so that - for the first time - the dreams of our potential futures can be expressed anyone and not simply a small number of educated elite.
Margot's talk will review the movements of the project, exploring how the use of new media and current hyper-pessimistic or climate change denial visions of the future affect humanity's opportunity to express genuine optimism or hope in its future.