God Said, Let There Be Light (Final Proposal on Albedo Effect)

My last two posts (System Thinking and Promotion Ad) left me with Albedo effect in urban areas. Not sure how to continue from this point on, I looked back at what we’ve been discussing in class for the past weeks:

I try to ask myself the following questions:

Question 1: What part of the system am I addressing?
According to the Iceberg Model, from the events to the patterns to the social beliefs, addressing different systems bring the artist different leverages. (A vertical axis)

Question 2: Who are my audiences?
Yale Program on Climate Change Communication’s report pointed out the six different attitudes Americans have on climate change issues. From “alarmed” all the way to “dismissive”, different audiences respond differently to the same presentation. For example, the “alarmed” crowd are aware enough of the issues, however usually not knowing what to do; the “dismissive” ones, on the other hand, need to be convinced of the existence of climate change. (A horizontal axis)

Question 3: What tools do I have?
Analogy, metonymy, future fiction, false mythology… (A form of communication connecting the above two axises)

I find the first two questions very difficult to answer. Going in from the third question, at last, my mind expanded quickly. To me, the obvious method to address my “situation of concern” was some kind of transformation of the urban cities. How could I transform it, then? In my last blog post, I went through the options of “painting roofs white” and “building pavements with high albedo materials”, however, both seemed unrealistic for my time being. What are some practical solutions? I came up with three ideas:

1. Cover the entire city with bright-colored cloth (digitally)
2. Paint city models in bright colors, or dump them in bright-colored liquid (as a performance)
3. Shake city models to have bright-colored powders drop and eventually cover the city (like a snow globe)

I played around for a bit, found more inspirations and built some prototypes for each ideas:

Liking all these ideas, I continued asking myself: how do I want my audiences to feel? What feelings do I want to trigger?

1. Cover with cloth – It’s silent, slow, nostalgic, poignant
2. Paint or dump in liquid – It’s loud, right-to-face, even violent
3. Shake (like a snow globe) – It’s playful

I decided to go with the first choice. As much as I believe artists should be loud and bold, I was also recently reminded of the power of beauty itself, and the cloth idea is more exciting to me aesthetically. More importantly, I think its vague nature could leave my audiences some space for interpretation and imagination. A piece of white covering have many suggestions. I’m building up a futuristic world where the cities either go to sleep peacefully under the cloth, or, to another extreme, go to death like in a funeral.

So I’m going to have the city covered by a piece of cloth. But who is going to do it? Whether we are going to sleep or going to die, it doesn’t seem fitting to have human beings do the covering ourselves. Ever since last time I made my promotion ad, I got hooked on the idea between “God” and “light” in our culture and language, so the gesture of covering cloth immediately led me to the classical western image referring to God:

(One of the most influential interactions between humans and God)

I thought, if God had “said hi” to us like this, why can’t he say bye to us in the same way?

I played God for a bit myself, but didn’t like the result so much.

Eventually I decided to retrieve to my digital comfort zone..

God Said, Let There Be Light

“Good Night/Bye, New York”

“Good Night/Bye, Chicago”

“Good Night/Bye, Dubai”

“Good Night/Bye, Hong Kong”

“Good Night/Bye, Shanghai”

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