Data Manifestation - The Comfort of Ignorance
Description written by Karin Von Ompteda
It can be difficult for people to relate climate change data to their everyday lives. Yet what if that information was lying on the living room couch? The bar graph that is woven into this blanket illustrates global surface temperature from 1965 to 2015, relative to average temperatures from 1951 to 1980. The data is presented in five-year increments and illustrates dramatic changes in temperature over time which range from low and even negative values (i.e. colder than the long-term average) on the left side of the graph, to progressively higher values on the right, all of which are positive values (i.e. warmer than the long-term average).
Whether you are affected by the data lies at the core of this project. The blanket is deceptively comfortable, serving as a metaphor for the comfort of ignorance regarding global climate change. This is juxtaposed with the uncomfortable truth of the data, represented through the use of 100% wool yarn which results in a prickly and itchy blanket. In this way the project offers a metaphor and litmus test for who we are in this period of climate change. Are you aware of what is going on around you? If so, are you willing to remain engaged with the issue, despite the discomfort of this reality?
This project has is currently on display at Design and Science, an exhibition at the School of Art & Design, at Eastern Michigan University, Michigan.