[ISEA2022] Panel: Sara Dean, Beth Ferguson & Marina Monsonís — Tools for a Warming Planet

Panel Statement 

ISEA2022 Barcelona hosted this panel, that took place at Canòdrom – Ateneu d’Innovació Digital i Democràtica. Co-organised by Hac Te – Hub d’Art, Ciència i Tecnologia and the Institut Ramon Llull Extended Programme, Public Event

Keywords: Climate, tools, environment, ecology, urgency

Tools for a Warming Planet is a collection of current and speculative tools for adapting to a changing world. New tools are needed for understanding, responding, communicating, building, and living together through climate chaos. This crowd-sourced collection represents exciting potentials for new futures from designers, artists, activists, and scientists worldwide.

We live on a planet in flux–with warming waters and land, chaotic weather, and unknown futures. Our adaptability and ingenuity are crucial to our survival, and our planet’s. In response to this condition, we are exploring new tools for understanding, engaging, and responding to our current and future environment. Bringing together artists, designers, scientists, and activists, this crowd-sourced piece focuses on ‘tools’, as a call for action, access, and collective engagement. New tools are needed to build more adaptable, resilient communities, as well as to imagine new ways of living on a fragile planet.

Tools for a Warming Planet is focused on the idea of tools–tools of collection, translation, engagement, connection, and care–which directly speaks to a time of climatic flux. Through display of physical and digital objects, as well as narratives on the use of these tools from the participating artists, the installation is a living archived of methods for working and living together. The project will develop over the course of the exhibit, allowing attendees and the larger global community to contribute tools to grow the collection.

The term ‘tool’ is used to focus on action: from hand craft, to care and repair, to data mapping, to digital filters, to community engagement. New tools posited across the works represent new possibilities of working and open up a conversation about our role as cultural and social activators. Tools for a Warming Planet brings together global voices into a visual dialog across languages and cultures that all must adapt to a changing climate on planet Earth. These global perspectives will allow for both localized perspectives and universal experiences, advancing a collective conversation with endless possibilities.
Biography: This piece is the collective work of Sara Dean, Beth Ferguson, and Marina Monsonís. They are all artists and designers working on community and climate knowledge sharing, through local food networks, energy and transportation sources, and urban tools for climate change. Sara and Beth are both based in California. Marina is a local artist in Barcelona. They come together for this piece through their conviction that both social engagement and adaptive technologies are equally needed to create livable, sustainable, and adaptable ways of living and mutual care.
Collaborator: Ofelia Viloche Pulido

  • Sara Dean is an architect and designer in California, USA. Her work investigates opportunities of digital technologies to engage cities towards greater equity and adaptability, under the dual threat of the Anthropocene and capitalism. This includes works responding to climate disaster, digital activism, mapping, and the future of our cities. She is an advocate for open-source systems of knowledge.
  • Beth Ferguson is an ecological designer and educator in California, USA, who blends industrial design with sustainable transportation, solar engineering, climate resiliency, and public engagement. She is the director of Adapting City Lab at UC Davis, which investigates new potentials of solar charging, urban transportation planning, and forms of micro-mobility in global cities.
  • Marina Monsonís is a visual artist who works with hybrid processes of micro-social transformation rooted in territories, collectives, and communities with a focus on marine science, place-based design, gastronomy, graffiti, radical geography, critical ethnography, and oral histories. She is the director of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art Kitchen Lab and based in Barcelona, España.