Published Sep 19, 2008A team of musicians, poets, novelists and other artists are gearing up for a trip to the Arctic later this month to learn first-hand about the science of climate change. They are taking part in Cape Farewell, a British program that this year has invited such musical talents as Jarvis Cocker, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Laurie Anderson and Robyn Hitchcock, as well as Canadians Feist and Martha Wainwright, for a scientific, as well as artistic, exploration of the North.
The program is meant to inspire works about climate change whether pop songs, novels, photos or poems and "to instigate a cultural response to climate change.
On the trip, which embarks on September 25 to Greenland, the artists are accompanied by a scientific team that will be building on the research they and another creative team began during the projects last journey to the North in 2007.
"You know, I could use this as a shifting mechanism for myself as an artist as well," folk singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright recently told CBC News. "You know, start to sing about things that aren't just my own emotional problems."
Cape Farewell was originally founded in 2001 by David Buckland, a British artist who argues that artists can reach the public more effectively than researchers. "Scientists have done a brilliant job of making us aware of climate change," he told the CBC. "But ultimately, it's the way we live our lives that's a problem. So it's a cultural problem and we need a cultural shift.
"They're talking in terms of graphs or scientific data and people just couldn't connect with that so the whole idea of Cape Farewell was to find some way of almost creating a new language that would engage with people to create photographs, images, wonderful pieces of writing that did address climate change and were completely scientifically correct or informed and then we could get that out into the greater public."
Contrary to our previous report about Feist embarking to the Arctic, it appears Brian Eno is no longer involved in this years Cape Farewell trip.
To learn more about Cape Farewell and all the artists involved, you can visit the projects website here.