Creativity for Climate Change


Creativity for Climate Change


The F is a community that gathers to envision, create, share and celebrate a beautiful future. It is the first fully solar-powered camp at Burning Man, spearheading the organisation’s and event’s transition towards sustainable energy. It was initiated by Matt Cyrankiewicz, a founder of HOO KOO E KOO.

Named after Family, Friends & Future, we host talks, workshops, and ceremonies focused on envisioning a better future and ways to get there.

“We create a good future, by creating a good present.”

— Eckhart Tolle

Our society, through many generations, has developed systems that allow us to function in an ever-changing world. But the systems themselves haven’t changed that much. It is easy to observe climate change and natural phenomena or economic crashes.

To move away from these solutions, we need to use our vision, imagination, and creativity, like never before.

This is where artists come to the fore. They are perceived as those holding all the mentioned skills, which, combined with the ability to respond quickly to changing reality, results in a potential of not only introducing a groundbreaking change but foremost, of shaping the new, better-quality, resilient societies.

Some researches have already been conducted to investigate the role of culture and arts in environmental issues (e.g. Creative Responses to Sustainability. Singapore Guide). All of them proved that the codependence of these two issues is significant.

To influence human behaviours, we have to go beyond communicating the science of climate change. The creative and cultural approach to climate change has proved very effective, since it speaks to people on an engaging, human, accessible, critical or fun level. Arts and culture have proved to be effective tools with which to advance new ideas and influence social norms. Critical engagement from the creative sector is complementary to the engagement of business, science, and industry.

— Creative Responses to Sustainability. Singapore Guide

Developing alternative structures to our current system requires a change in the way we live, embracing low tech, human solutions, and high tech, environmentally friendly innovations.

Using arts as a tool for introducing positive social and climate changes is also a way to stimulate more cultural collaborations on these themes and seeks to instigate real change by encouraging nations to collaborate globally on as many levels as possible.

Art can plant ideas in people and can inspire people. Experiencing an artwork can be a shortcut to the public, in comparison, for instance, to reading essays. It makes knowledge more accessible. The emotions that art can provoke have a deeper impact on people than science. To impact the individual is not so difficult; However, to impact society is much harder.

— Creative Responses to Sustainability. Singapore Guide

11 subjectively picked examples of creative approaches to the climate change problem

The art-science-tech collaborations in various forms and dimensions:

01: The F - A Burning Man Camp

F camp 01
F Camp 02

The F — First fully solar panel-powered camp at Burning Man Festival! (keep reading to learn more).

F camp 03
F camp 04
F camp 05
F camp 06
F camp 07
F camp 08

02: The Art Rising

kid painting

“We believe that we are all artists. To be human, is to create.”

The Art Rising is a philanthropic art movement that strategizes creative and collaborative solutions to our present-day social and environmental challenges.

Art is the universal language we use to connect with the World, cultivate community and achieve positive change. We create art on canvas, collaborate with indigenous woodcarvers, and use proceeds of this work to fund regenerative projects around the World.

Watch short videos about The Art Rising Playground at Karen Refugee Camp and The Art Rising Mazu: An Artificial Coral Reef.

(HOO KOO E KOO is a founding partner of Global Coralition, a global initiative to save coral).

03: iLight Festival

cosmic web

Cosmic Web is an interactive light installation inspired by a spider’s web, which resembles a tunnel. Image source:

iLight is Asia’s first sustainable light art festival held in the Marina Bay District of Singapore. The festival takes place every other year and showcases innovative and environmentally sustainable light installations from around the world, transforming the Marina Bay waterfront into a magical space of light and colour.

The festival aims to promote environmentally responsible behaviour for a sustainable future and participating artists incorporate the use of recyclable materials and adopt energy-efficient lighting in the creation of their light art installations.


DUNE is a landscape of light that interacts with human behaviour. The hybrid of nature and technology is composed of hundreds of fibers that brighten according to the motions and the touch of passing visitors. Image source:

04: Marina DeBris


Marina uses upcycled trash in her art to raise awareness of ocean and beach pollution. Listed with the Women Environmental Artists Directory, the California-based artist partners with various anti-pollution organisations, such as Friends of Ballona Wetlands, Ruckus Roots, and the United Nations Special Assembly on Climate Change.

DeBris uses marine debris (as her name states) to create something rapidly gaining popularity in eco-chic circles: ‘trashion’, i.e. art, jewellery, fashion, and objects for the home created from used, thrown out, found, and repurposed elements. DeBris is also a social activist and has taken part in a panel to show that artists can contribute to environmental public policy and promote clean energy.

marina debris

Aviva Rahmani works in strong collaboration with an interdisciplinary community of scientists, planners, environmentalists, and eco-artists. Her conceptual artwork embraces a wide range of projects, from complete landscape restorations to museum venues that reference painting, sound, and photography.

art installation

Canadian artist Aurora Robson is a multimedia activist who creates sculptures out of waste. Living and working in New York for two decades, she has become very conscious of the problem of waste in the metropolis.

Robson turns everyday trash into environmentally friendly works of art to remind the public of how much waste is generated by humans. Her intricate art pieces resemble abstract organisms or objects, often enhanced by the use of energy-saving LEDs that create a supernatural effect.

closeup installation
low light
human sensor

Human Sensor, Kasia Molga, 2016. Photo by Nick Harrison, courtesy of Invisible Dust.

Reporting every day on the level of air pollution in London, Invisible Dust, which is a platform for collaborations between artists and scientists, aims to make the invisible visible — particularly environmental challenges that don’t necessarily register to the naked eye. They bring this awareness through commissions, events, education and community activities.

08: Olafur Eliasson — Icebergs


Olafur Eliasson. Your waste of time. 2013. Installation view of EXPO 1: New York at MoMA PS1. Photo: Matthew Septimus.

For “Your waste of time,” Olafur Eliasson displayed pieces of ice that broke off from Iceland’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. Exhibited in a refrigerated gallery space powered by solar panels, the ice “sculptures” represented 800 years of Earthly existence, putting human’s physical experience in perspective.

The obvious lesson of Mr Eliasson’s installation, ‘Your waste of time,’ is that global warming is wreaking havoc on nature.

— Ken Johnson, The New York Times

More fun!

Taking a fun, accessible, and enjoyable approach to engaging people seems to be effective. It can be a way of offering something refreshing and new that people can relate to on a personal level, such as roundtable discussions, that break down barriers.

People need to see it’s fun to engage, need to see how enjoyable repairing is. This is a lot about your marketing strategy. If you want to engage the masses, you can’t just be talking your own language. It needs to look like something successful, like something people want to be part of. If Coke can do it, why can’t environmentalists do it?

— Veerappan SWAMINATHAN (Sustainable Living Lab)

The best way to encourage people to get engaged is by not restricting creativity, and taking the fun and enjoyable approach. Arts and culture can be perfect for that.

These projects don’t solve an environmental problem but point up potential solutions and raise awareness. A growing segment of the population that wanted to address social change and ecology and were searching for the skills and language that would help them apply their art-making to these areas. Fine art is one of the last fields to be engaged in social responsibility and ecological awareness.

— Hugh Pocock, a sculpture and video professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Thank you for reading

Justyna Cyrankiewicz
With love, HOO KOO E KOO