Climate neutral art / climate positive art

Climate neutral art / climate positive art

I am often on the road, taking one of my installations to some other city for an outdoor presentation. And every now and then, when I am driving through wind and pouring rain, I can’t help but think what a blessing it is to have plastic at hand as work material rather than something that would surrender to the weather conditions and fall to pieces.

But is it really a blessing? Ask the sea-turtle captured in a plastic net, doomed to drown. Or the city dove limping through the streets because one of her feet got caught in a plastic string and died off. Or the people who eat fish, because it is said to be a healthy food, not knowing it contains microplastic which they consume as well.

Plastic is everywhere – in the soil, the water, the air. Even in space. We cannot escape from this man-made, health and life threatening material anymore, and yet we not only keep producing it. We multiply the stocks! Further and further, until one day we’ll be overrun by a tidal wave of plastic parts and suffocate.

Being a man who cares for this planet and all its creatures great and small, it has always been my goal and heartfelt wish to produce as little garbage and CO2 as I can. But it is a challenge – especially for me as an artist, since my installations are often made from plastic material, and they so often need to be taken to different cities for presentation.

I am very much aware of this discrepancy, and I am trying as best as I can to not only limit my share of environmental pollution but, whenever possible, reverse it. For instance by working frequently with used plastic parts or scrap metal from flea markets etc, driving a climate friendly car, riding my bike instead as often as possible, produce as little garbage as I can, stick to green electricity only and monitor my heating habits.

Making an effort to support this planet’s well-being sounds like a lot of work and lots of personal restrictions. But it’s not. I am doing my bit on a regular basis, and is has neither effected my full-time job or my leisure time noticeable on one single day. Little things, little efforts can make such a difference!

Like when I go for a walk, which I love to do, it is no big deal to pick up some garbage along the way while walking. I do this as often as possible, and in founding a group „We will clean the world“ (Wir räumen die Welt auf) on Facebook in 2018 I even managed to gather a lot of followers. (See the photo gallery „One can of garbage per day“ for reference or the garbage snake along the River Rhine which I created: Memorial 666 – A perfect match. Mahnmal 666 – Wie die Faust aufs Auge) Photo gallery “A bucket of rubbish a day”
Talking about the River Rhine. It floats along the town were I live, and it is so nice to spend time on its shores. Yet some people see the riverbanks, the ways and the woodland as a perfect place to dump their garbage. To help clean this strip of nature, I have founded the campaign „River Rhine Sponsorship“ (new). Water is essential for our lives, and the rivers and oceans are not at all bottomless garbage cans. Help is needed to stop the contamination of water, since we all suffer from the results.

I am supporting the organization „The Honu Movement“ which relies on donations for its task to provide new jobs for people helping to collect and recycle plastic waste left afloat in the oceans. In January 2022, I donated money earned with my art works to fetch 160 kg plastic waste out of the oceans. (The Honu Movement Zertifikat).

In doing so, I want to compensate the waste originating from parts of my installation „It is like it is“. This art work contains of 111 mannequins, wrapped in red and white barrier tape, meant as a memorial of the Corona pandemic. To go with these mannequins was a couple of plastic ravens, which I single out for presentation once in a while. Most unfortunately, some of them became the victims of vandalism, ending up on the side of the road, in the undergrowth or even in the river. This way, most unintentionally, my art may have added to the vast amount of plastic polluting the oceans. Hence my support for „The Honu Movement“.

And there is more all of us can do, like neutralize our carbon emission (or even succeed the amount spent and operate climate positively). For support, I recommend using One gets a certificate for compensating carbon emission, such as I did for almost 40, 000 kilometres travelled in our cars in 2020-2022: Klimazertifikat

Finally, allow me to draw your attention to one of my art works deriving from my thoughts of what can be done to help our planet: the installation „Mankind rather drowns than goes bathing during climate change!“ Bei diesem Klimawandel geht die Menschheit baden

There are many good people out there – smart, thoughtful, creative. People who realize that this planet is the only home we have got, and who understand that help is needed if we want our children to grow up in a healthy, green environment full of beautiful creatures, being able to live their dreams. All it takes is to get together in our efforts to make a difference. Then there will be a difference. Because yes. We can!