Listening to a talk at MOOT V (a series of Art talks, this one on Art & the Environment – hosted by the Kilkenny Arts Office and the Butler Gallery, in Dec 07), I was impressed by a talk by Irish environmental communication consultant, Gavin Harte.
Sitting in the audience I listened as he described how the effect of badly communicating enviromental ideas has meant societyas a whole been dangerously slow to react to environmental concerns ( he had a great clip in his talk from the Simpsons, to illustrate his ideas; it shows Homer going through all the stages of reacting, denying, accepting and acting on bad news – Homer had been told he had cancer). Generally in regards to environmental ‘bad news’, most of society seems to be stuck in the denial stage.
Gavin had done some work for the UK agency Futerra, the chief Environmental Communications advisors to the UK government. They have come up with a clear and simple set of RULES for conveying environmental ideas.
As an someone who has worked on an an art – ecology project, many of the rules seemed critical not only in effectively engaging people for the need for change in general, but to keep in mind if one is attempting an art & ecology project – in which you wish to ultimately engage an audience (and maybe even inspire change). While listening, I was mentally checking and assessing my own project, ‘the local project’. Hooray, I seemed to have touched on a lot of these rules already, thank god for gut instinct and trial and error. But sometimes its easy to forget what has worked before so I decided to write to Gavin afterwards and get a copy (they look good in pink too!).
The RULES are actually free to download from Futerra, so do pass them on.