What does art have to do with the Earth’s climate?

© Lukas Fierz, 2019

To me, sustainability means… a way of life that we can maintain for a few thousand years more.

Climate change is relevant to the cultural world because… we’re already pretty far down the road towards burning ourselves up—after which culture will no longer be at all possible.

Art can change the world by… raising awareness.

Climate change makes itself noticed in my works as… indignance at how this impending calamity is still being called by the comfortably padded and disarming name of “climate change”. (Parallels to comfortably padded mainstream interpretations of Beethoven are no coincidence.) “Climate catastrophe” or “environmental catastrophe” would be more accurate ways of describing this state of affairs.

My personal contribution to climate protection is… to have only one child (by far the most effective measure), eat a largely vegetarian diet, not own a car, fly as little as I can, and both conceive of and create a sustainable cultural industry together with other musicians and concert organisers.

For the future, I hope… that we’ll survive.

In the series “What does art have to do with the Earth’s climate?” the “Green mdw” initiative is inviting concerned individuals to speak out on their personal approaches to this issue.

It’s strolling through the woods that the mdw alumna and exceptional artist Patricia Kopatchinskaja is pictured on the main page of her official website. She typically performs barefoot in order to have a “direct connection with the Earth”, and the media describe her as an elemental force. In the projects that she’s conceived and led (such as Dies Irae [Day of Wrath], Lucerne Festival 2017), she takes a stand—finding artistic ways in which to express emotions that might best be collectively described as environmental mourning. And here, she finds some clear words for our Key Thoughts.

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