Wooloo.org is an artist-run organization based in Berlin, Germany, which is presenting NEW LIFE COPENHAGEN this year, a contemporary environmental art festival powered by the collective thinking of the Wooloo.org community's worldwide users.
NEW LIFE COPENHAGEN is the meeting between 5,000 environmental activists and 5,000 private homes during the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Denmark this December. Utilizing this large-scale human meeting as its exhibition platform, NEW LIFE COPENHAGEN invites artists to submit work proposals in the form of ”challenges” that 10,000 participants in Copenhagen can follow during their meeting. Concepts should challenge the everyday habits of those involved and will be implemented alongside New Life Challenges by the artists Superflex (DK), Pawel Althamer (PL), Raketa (S) and Signa (DK/A). Please go to wooloo.org/festival to submit your challenge.
Wooloo.org has chosen Waterpod™ to act as an international sister exhibition to NEW LIFE COPENHAGEN. Waterpod™ was conceived as a showcase for grassroots attainable sustainable technology through a cross-disciplinary artistic lens. It is a floating sculptural structure constructed from repurposed materials, that will travel the New York waterways in the summer of 2009 and act as a home for 6 visual artists. The resident artists will be focused on the restriction and transformation of personal waste, the creation of collaborative innovative projects and ideas, the active caretaking of the nourishing onboard eco-system, and documenting their trials, successes and explorations to share with the public sphere. As tangible evidence of the ensuing global warming epoch becomes visible in our daily lives, it is up to us to examine our habits and look for innovative ways to creatively tackle tomorrow's pressing environmental challenges. Waterpod™ is an accessible self-reliant eco-habitat, exhibition and living space, constructed with the advancing sea levels in mind. The number of New York City families officially designated as 'homeless' has risen from 5,192 in 2000 to 9,720 in 2008, imagine how this number will expand as climate change progresses. This new era will be defined by climate refugees, and Waterpod™ will be an available open source manual of creative solutions and a platform for dialogue.
PARTICIPATE OR DIE
From December 7th to 18th, 2009, the UN is gathering 192 nations in Copenhagen to broker a new global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol. In addition to the thousands of official delegates attending, an estimated 30,000 climate activists and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) are bound for the conference which has been called: “Humanity's last chance to combat a climate problem that is now all but overwhelming.” (Tim Flanery)
However, there are no more hotels for the many visitors to stay at. All hotels in both Copenhagen and its surrounding area (including Sweden) have already been booked for the official delegates. And even if they were available, many activists from the South would not be able to afford them anyway.
As part of the solution to this major problem, NEW LIFE COPENHAGEN has for the past six months been running a volunteer-based campaign to get 5.000 private Danish homes to open their door for 5.000 visitors. Through collaborations with major labour unions and local organizations, NEW LIFE COPENHAGEN will reach this goal in the Fall.
ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE?
At the end of Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth”, he lists ten simple life rules to combat global warming. These include using less hot water, recycling more, driving less, etc. While NEW LIFE COPENHAGEN supports this sustainable thinking, we also believe that the real problem will not be solved by individual, behavioral modifications - but only by fixing the fundamental wrongs of a global economic system that thrives on the exploitation of natural resources.
Seen in this way, the climate crisis is not just a threat but also an opportunity. The opportunity to create transnational commitment around radical re-thinkings of our destructive way of life. The first step to create such change, is to think outside the current system and its concept of cultural rules.
That is our mission with NEW LIFE COPENHAGEN.
By asking artists to develop challenges, constructions and images for a new life - and then implement them among 10,000 individuals - NEW LIFE COPENHAGEN aims to step far beyond the passive role of the traditional exhibition and become an active organizer of powerful experiments in civic engagement and social empowerment.