Shrink-wrapped people? A German exhibit presents some provocative concepts for adapting to climate change.
How will people protect themselves from pollution and other climate hazards in the future? Artist Pablo Reinoso's giant balloon might be one idea. Two people at a time can stick their heads into the inflatable structure to share a common visual and audio space away from contaminants, storms, and aggressive solar radiation.
The 1998 interactive installation, titled "La Parole," is among the body capsules currently on display at the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg in Germany as part of the exhibit "Climate Capsules: Means of Surviving Disaster."
The museum presents more than 30 mobile, temporary, and urban capsules that in some way represent an adaptation to climate change. "In view of the fact that the politicians are hesitant to enforce strict measures for climate protection and the citizens very sluggish about changing their habits, the change appears inevitable," the description of the exhibit reads.
Lawrence Malstaf's 1995 installation "Shrink" may not be a viable lifestyle solution, exactly, but it's certainly a provocative one. The artist essentially vacuum-packs a person between two large plastic sheets, with a transparent tube inserted between the two surfaces letting the person inside the installation regulate the flow of air.
Capsules in the exhibit represent attempts to sustain life independent of the surrounding climatic conditions. Ingo Vetter's 2004 exhaust-driven greenhouse "Adaptation Laboratory" joins the fumes rather than trying to beat them.
If air quality ever gets too bad for lounging outdoors, you could always plop down in a hammock inside an artificial sphere. Works on display at the museum by designers, artists, architects, and urban planners include the 1972 installation "Oase No. 7, Documenta 5" by Haus-Rucker-Co.
"Refuge Wear," made of aluminium-coated polyamide, polar fleece, telescopic aluminium poles, a whistle, lantern, and compass, "allows the wearer to isolate himself from the world and create a place of reflection and meditation; a closed, four-dimensional universe, says artist Lucy Orta. "It is similar to a mountain refuge, that is to say a temporary shelter providing a basic comfort where he can stop off before continuing on his way."
What will cities look like in the future? One of the urban capsule concepts being spotlighted at the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg through September 12 is Dome over Manhattan by Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao.