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

To me, sustainability means ensuring survival.

Climate change is relevant to the cultural world because the cultural world doesn’t exist in a vacuum: every institution and individual has to think about what they can contribute to the fight against climate change.

The arts can change the world because they connect people, establish identity, and make us human beings what we are.

Climate change makes itself noticed in my work as the more and more relevant question of how to handle mobility in a way that conserves resources. We book artists from all over the world—and in doing so, we need to ensure logistically well-planned engagements.

My personal contribution to climate protection is doing without car ownership and attempting to generate as little plastic waste as possible.

For the future, I hope for peace.

In the series “What do the arts 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. After all, the connections are obvious—or are they? Just how diverse are the perspectives from which mdw faculty members, students, administrators, alumni, and other active artists think about our climate, sustainability, and their own professional practice?

Matthias Naske, born in Vienna in 1963, has served as Intendant of the Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft and President of Wien Modern since 2013. Alongside his full-time work as intendant, Matthias Naske has chaired the curatorium of MICA since 2015 and is a board member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg as well as a member of the Alban Berg Foundation’s board of trustees. He also lectures at the mdw’s Department of Cultural Management and Gender Studies (IKM).

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