Collins and Goto c02edenburgh

CO2 Edenburgh: Spirit in the Air

CONCEPT: The project intends to provoke discussion about the recent 400 parts per million milestone by calibrating understanding in relationship to the clouds of CO2 produced in Edinburgh through normal day-to-day activities. For the Edinburgh Art Festival the project will work with colleagues in the Art Space and Nature programme, using their Tent Gallery as a base of operations and performance to explore the actual rate and flow of CO2 in the environment in Edinburgh. This project asks the question if humans produce gas in cities and there are no trees around to breath it, does anyone care?

The artists and collaborators will approach the problem as one of hot air (sourced through indoor gallery goers, performers and the politicians at Scottish Parliament) and hot smoking air from automobiles, taxis and busses in the city. Where ever possible alternate measurements will be taken in safe havens such as the Geddes Garden on Westport Street and the Meadows off Melville Drive.

C02 Edenburgh


Think of the Tent as the corporate headquarters for ‘Spirit in the Air Ltd.” The overhead projector provides the best ‘real time’ tool we could have otherwise the exhibition content and related programing has to be crisp, clean and to the point.

The project we propose is both performative and participatory in that we will conduct field studies as well as a series of public discussions and workshops that explore research and visualization efforts such at the ‘Hestia Project’ at the University of Arizona; and various reports such as the ‘Local Authorities CO2 Estimates’ published by the Dept. of Energy and Climate Change, UK. Our workshops will involve creative art/science partners who want to explore ideas about art, science and democracy and what it means to create an baseline that is empirical-qualitative (referential to the issue and the cultural values attached to it); rather than empirical-quantitative which seeks to define the issue as the first step in considering the need for further work or response.

As a result of this plan, the exhibition will develop in an iterative form. A team of art and science interests will be engaged to spend time with what we are calling ‘the carbon staff’ at key intersections and attend Edinburgh Festival events. Weekly workshops on ‘seeing’ CO2, and understanding its relationship to everyday life in Edinburgh will be conducted.