"I spoke to Tim Bowtell at NEA a few years ago about screening a film at NEA. At the time I was influenced by seeing a recording of Art Climate Ethics: What Role for the Arts? at the Melbourne Sustainable Living Festival 2014. This presentation featured a number of artists talking about their art and climate change and was presented by Guy Abrahams of CLIMARTE: Arts for a Safe Climate. One of the featured artists was Chris Jordan director of Albatross who spoke about his making of the film on Midway Island, https://www.albatrossthefilm.com/
Over recent months I have looked up some of Chris Jordan’s work and have come to see how Chris wants to take us beyond the numbers used to describe our impact on the environment. By showing us the consequences of the cultural choices we make he wants us to feel these impacts, because large numbers such as tons of carbon emissions, the number of species threatened with extinction, etc. doesn’t mean much to us.
Chris Jordan’s website presents some amazing Photographic Arts, in particular some animations titled Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait and Running the Numbers II: Portraits of global mass culture, visualising the numbers resulting from our personal consumption. In his TedX talk 'Midway Journey' Chris describes his artistic work as “visualising and facing the invisible truths of our time”.
A reminder also that Tim Bowtell has in his own way been visualising some of the tragedies of our times. His mural at Benalla Wall Art this year was “Cornography”, a critique of our modern corporate food chain. And most recently Tim’s entry in the inaugural Swanpool SCRAP Art Prize, the “Treadmill of Perpetual Happiness” is now situated at the entry to North East Artisans." (Peter Maddock)
People who attended the screening of Albatross at NEA were clearly very moved by it. NEA member Pamella Francis wrote the following comment on NEA's Facebook page -
"I attended the free ALBATROSS movie last night, Saturday 1st Sept at NEA.... I was totally aghast at what we, as humans are doing to our beautiful planet and the animals who innocently go about their lives unaware of the dangers that they ingest and pass on to their offspring. The parent bird don't know that they are slowly killing them. As humans we at least have choice and can be aware of the dangers of what we choose to eat and the lifestyles we live in. Whilst there is a minority of people who are trying to do the 'right' thing with plastic, recycling etc etc... the BIG companies need to get on board if real changes can be made! I don't usually say much on FB just "like" what other people post but I can't not say something about this movie on the Albatross. If everyone took the time to watch this move, they would be moved to change".