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‘At the Precipice’ Emphasizes the Role of Emotion, Tactility, and the Senses in Understanding the Climate Crisis

May 23, 2023

Grace Ebert

Nathalie Miebach, “Build Me a Platform”

How does it feel to inhabit an irreversibly damaged planet? An exhibition opening at the Design Museum of Chicago this summer brings together works by ten artists and collectives that answer this question through data, color, tactility, and material.

Curated by Colossal, At the Precipice: Responses to the Climate Crisis considers physical and emotional reactions in the era of environmental disaster and emphasizes how art can offer an accessible entry point into such an overwhelming and dire emergency. Varying in medium and methodology, the works included explore several of the most urgent issues affecting the world today.

The Tempestry Project returns to the early Common Era to visualize how rapidly our climate has changed in the last few centuries alone, while Luftwerk and Zaria Forman consider the impacts of a warming world on glaciers and arctic regions. Morel Doucet, Nathalie Miebach, and Migwa Nthiga are concerned with the increasing intensity of weather events and subsequent forced migration, and Jean Shin and Chris Pappan look to shifts in rivers and access to water sources. Selva Aparicio questions loss, remains, and acts of remembrance, while Redemptive Plastics offers a localized and scalable solution to waste.

At the Precipice runs from July 14 to October 30.  We’ll be announcing talks, workshops, and other programming in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for details.


Help Us Knit a Century of Chicago Weather!

As part of the exhibition, the Design Museum of Chicago has generously kickstarted a Chicago Tempestry Collection, which will use twelve knitted works to highlight changes in the local weather patterns during the last 120 years. Anyone interested in creating a tempestry—a tapestry depicting daily temperatures—to be added to the collection and displayed at the museum can purchase a kit on the project’s site.



Morel Doucet, “Black Maiden in Veil of Midnight” (left) and “Olokun” (right). Images courtesy of the artist and Galerie Myrtis

Zaria Forman, still from “Overview: 12 Miles of Lincoln Sea in the Arctic Ocean, North of Greenland”

Migwa Nthiga, “The Warriors Of The North”

Selva Aparicio, “Our Garden Remains”

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