The art and science of climate change

Published September 8, 2022, 9:00 PM

by Jules Vivas

A discussion on one of today’s hottest topics, the death of the world warming up

WORLD DEGREDATION Diorama of the Climate Crisis by Derek Tumala, rendered by Justin Lanuza

The end is near! The quote from the New Testament that claims the final judgment is more real than we acknowledge it to be. That is, if we don’t do something about climate change.

On top of the pandemic, there is unequivocal evidence that Earth is getting warmer at an abnormal rate. If we were to save the planet, us along with it, awareness is key.

Serving as a doomsday prophet, Filipino transdisciplinary artist Derek Tumala has created a virtual world, Tropical Climate Forensics, a video game-like web application that portrays the climate emergency as it unfolds in the Philippines.

On Sept. 9 , the visual artist will share his creative process in making the digital rendering of a dying planet through a hybid event from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

CLIMATE ACTIVIST Filipino multidisciplinary artist Derek Tumala

Derek’s online project draws inspiration from his residency at the Manila Observatory. One of the oldest meteorological observatories in Southeast Asia, it was erected in 1865 by Jesuit fathers. The apexart NYC Fellow has done research into the seismographic and meteorological archives, current data, and future forecasts to shed light on shifting patterns of weather and climate in the Philippines and the region.

With diorama as a model, Tropical Climate Forensics explores the climate crisis across the past, present, and a speculative future. Derek produces a taxonomy specific to the Philippines as a tropical site, with biomes to represent his study.

This exploratory sandbox experience is the Philippines’ entry at the international online exhibition of 28 arts agencies launched by the World Weather Network, a community of creatives reporting on weather and climate.

The global project has art agencies showcase various atmospheric conditions of participating countries through artworks and images, stories, and reflections to construct an archipelago of world views and voices that better depict the issue of climate change across multiple languages and localities.

THREAT OF EXTINCTION Obserbatoryo, Heatbox, and Tropical Climate Forensics by Derek Tumala, rendered by Justin Lanuza

Derek was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLSB). The institute was supported by the British Council’s Creative Commissions for Climate Action, a program that dissects climate change through art, science, and digital technology.

With diorama as a model, Tropical Climate Forensics explores the climate crisis across the past, present, and a speculative future.

His exploratory works, majority of which engage new media, have been presented at the Art Basel Hong Kong, Salzburg Global Seminar, Tokyo Design Week, and Beyond Time Residency Poland. He also initiated Mvltiverse, a group of multimedia artists that probes the wonders of moving images, as well as STEAM/Projects, a collective of technologists and artists.

Tropical Climate Forensics is on view until July 2023 at | [email protected]