A research based work, which indicates that the Peninsula of Europe will undergo serious drought as well as continuing glacial melt and in two images, the Harrison Studio indicates how much land will be lost, how many people may need to move upward and the trajectory of the drought from the Pyrennees toward Central Europe. The work poses the question, ‘Who’s thinking about this eventuality,’ and thereafter suggests how one might begin doing so.
Exhibited at Nobel Peace Museum, Oslo, Norway and traveling.
Commissioned by: UNEP for the group show, Envisioning Change.
Peninsula Europe: The rising of waters, the trajectory of drought.
So with this scenario the peninsula loses about half its ability to produce its own food. Somebody said that it can be grown on the Russian plain instead. You said, or I said, “Are you sure?”
The European peninsula is clearly surrounded by water on tree sides making it almost an island. However, It can be understood as almost surrounded by water on the fourth side when the eastern boundary is determined by the Vistula River flowing north from the Carpathians to the Baltic Sea and the Dnester River flowing south from the Carpathians to the Black Sea. These rivers do not themselves quite meet, but their tributaries are separated by only about 30 kilometers. Thus, defined by the waters, we see the Peninsula of Europe as a field of play.
Looking at the Peninsula of Europe as a cultural landscape
The overproduction of sameness emerges as
A potentially de-stabilizing pattern
Mono-cultural farming becomes obvious
in the cast fields of single crops
Mono-cultural forestry becomes obvious
in the vast plantations of pine
There is obvious sameness in the production of goods
And in the productions of media by the multinationals
And sameness emerges
From the blending of the many once diverse cultural patterns
Now a disturbing question emerges
If diversity helps ensure survival
Can this sameness be the best possible state of things
As the Peninsula
And all on it
Face the changing of climates,
The rising of waters
The warming of lands
Seeing the waters’ rise noted as about 5 meters an extreme
but nonetheless possible prediction for the next hundred or so years
Seeing 95 thousand square kilometers of land disappear
Much of it indefensible
So that 23 million people will have to move upward
As the world ocean begins reshaping the Peninsula
How can endangered but necessary mean of production
Be moved to high ground
Wondering whether the endless array of truncated road and railroad systems
Really need to be replicated
Now we imagine a new set of emergent properties
Driven by the rising of waters
And the dramatic changes of landscape production
And the availability of resources
suggesting this is indeed a bifurcation point in a state of becoming
A point of reorganization of its own complexities
Into a new form of entityhood
And if so
Peninsula Europe becomes a center of the changing world.