Beginning April 16th, 30 artworks from the United Nations’ DigitalArt4Climate Collection will be on display at the Seattle NFT Museum as part of their exhibition entitled “The Climate Conversation”. The exhibition, centered on exploring emerging technologies to solve mass energy consumption, signals a growing recognition of the value of NFTs not only in the art world, but also in the climate action movement.
“At DigitalArt4Climate, we admire the fact that the Seattle NFT Museum highlights visually powerful collections focused on social impact powered by cutting-edge technology such as NFTs,” says Anna Dart, curator of the DigitalArt4Climate Collection. “This is a true breakthrough for the museum world and it will make an enduring difference.”
Among the artists to be featured in the exhibition are the DigitalArt4Climate Art Competition second prize winners: Amir Karimi, Ekaterina Lestienne, and Chloé Hajjar.
With a background in architecture, Amir Karimi specializes in creating dream-like 3D animations. Striking for their otherworldly realism, Karimi’s artworks are warning signals to humanity to take immediate action against climate change in order to protect the home that we share and to build a better future for humans and animals alike.
His piece Every Second: Lake features a white cube in the midst of a desolate dried-up lake. The ticking cube is a recurring motif in Karimi’s work, symbolizing purity and simplicity amplifying his call for action.
“It is a reminder to all of us so that everywhere we see an environmental issue, that cube will be pictured in our mind encouraging us to make some changes,” says Karimi of his piece. “Every second more lakes are drying up. We say ‘water means life’ but do we care?”
Joining Karimi in the call to take action against environmental devastation is Ekaterina Lestienne, whose “Crypto Baroque” artworks are created through the application of dozens of layers of AI powered art filters all joining together in an emotionally charged and dynamic visual experience.
Lestienne’s piece The Wildfire echoes the artist’s feelings of responsibility to help build a more sustainable future with a technicolour visual language that pulls in the viewer, prompting them to further reflect on our current crisis by illustrating the beauty of the natural world — one that we stand to lose if we stay silent.
"I feel personally responsible for sending a message about climate change and the importance of being engaged in the efforts to slow it down,” says Lestienne. “My layered, detailed, textured digital сollage refers to the multidimensional soul of the world and can be interpreted as our precious and beautiful planet being ripped to pieces by extreme climate events."
Fellow second prize winner Chloé Hajjar, a new media artist who focuses on digital techniques, live recordings and memory preservation, joins the team of NFT creators in merging technology and art to reflect on humankind’s role in taking care of our planet. Approaching collage like a form of reincarnation, she applies layer after layer of digital and physical imagery, bridging the personal and the universal, healing and destruction.
Her piece Allegory of Survival, her most detailed work to date with over 100 layers of imagery, is as complex as it is mesmerizing.
"Imagine the Earth as a living body that suffers illness, heals and breathes as though it is a living organism,” explains Hajjar of her artwork. “Nature’s connection to the body and the cycle of un-remembering mirrors both consciousness and vision. These compositions remind us that disorder is not a mistake, but a transcendental human default.”
Along with the second prize winners of the competition is the special prize winner, Graffiti Girls. As part of UN Habitat’s effort to encourage meaningful opportunities for young people to contribute to the common good, the Graffiti Girls are a youth-led group from Nairobi who demonstrate the empowering capacity of spreading awareness for social and environmental issues through street art.
Their work Team Spirit is an optimistic affirmation of our collective and individual power to make a difference — a testament to humanity’s ability to change our actions for the better.
"This mural is a message sent across to our brothers and sisters that everyone can contribute to making their communities beautiful and aware of climate change," explain the Graffiti Girls.
The message of the Graffiti Girls echoes a sentiment that will ultimately carry us closer to climate justice — one that believes in the mobilizing power of art and technology to unite everyone, regardless of background, to build solutions to save our home.
Learn more about "The Climate Conversation" exhibition where these works and others will be displayed.
Check out the rest of the artists in the United Nations’ DigitalArt4Climate Collection.