Climate Change of Mind

Lizette Mary Guldfeldt, Shobana Sutharsan & Caroline Wedel Thrane.

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Based on the two contradicting sides of Aalborg Portland; their initiatives in sustainability but also the environmental pollution of the company, our aim is to create an artefact with a focus on the viewer’s opinion regarding the environment, in relation to Portland. Our main ambition with the concept is to examine, whether it is possible to change the viewers opinions, by experimenting with manipulative visual- and auditory tools. Hereby drawing attention towards the power of communication through art.

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, we had to design a digital concept rather than constructing a spatial outdoor installation. In either case, the viewer is asked about their view on the climate conditions of future Portland, after which they are persuaded by either a dystopian or utopian scenario, depending on their opinion. These scenarios are created as collage-animations. Afterwards they will be asked, whether their original view has changed from observing the animation. The questions mentioned above takes part in a survey, to analyse whether we are able to move the viewers opinions. We have chosen the focus group for the survey to be high school students, that is, from the age of 16-20 years old. We have chosen this specific age group, because it is an age where you are often more susceptible to different impressions, but have also started to express your own opinions on subjects, according to Francis E. Jensen, professor of neurology. Furthermore, is this age group often heavy consumers of everything visual, from social media to tv; platforms where certain subjects can be communicated. The analysis will be shaped by the data, we receive through the survey.

Our project is inspired by public relation developer, Edward Bernays, and communications researcher, Christopher Cummings’ methods and theories on public relations, and their use of propaganda and psychoanalysis. We have also found inspiration for the concept through activistic art, such as “CO2 CUBES: Visualize a Tonne of Change”. Our intention with the artefact is to expose the effect of the manipulative media culture we take part in, where many, especially the youth, are constantly influenced by a flow of communication and messages. Messages that are almost impossible to avoid, as they are not just communicated through billboards and in the public realm anymore, but are also displayed through social media.