NOTITLE

2019

Power Dynimic, duo exhibition, FK Kollektiv, Berlin

Installation, 100 x 60 x 320 cm

Casted glasses, GS Acrylic glass sheet, GS Acrylic tube, iron rod painted color, fishing string, meat hook, heat light.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) is an international agreement that dictates how coastal nations protect oceans and manage maritime natural resources. This agreement allows coastal nations to establish artificial islands in exclusive economic zones under specific terms that are supposed to protect the oceans. 1

However, in the South China Sea there have been two major consequences of constructing such artificial islands. The first is that the construction of artificial islands promotes climate change. The process of building them requires dredging sand, which destroys natural reefs and disrupts marine life, ultimately resulting in sea level rise. 2 The second is the geopolitical consequences of the construction. Often, these artificial islands are built because one nation is trying to reclaim land from another, even resulting in fishermen being arrested by the oppressed nation. This brings human rights in the equation, in addition to the environmental and geopolitical consequences. 3

The power structures of these islands have disregarded nature and created human rights issues that affect the most vulnerable. 4 This artwork aims to reveal the power imbalances that exist between man, nature and politics and to reflect on how seemingly momentary and transitional these relationships are. The socio-political dynamics that guide our decisions today are influenced by the class structures that dictate value. But the power of nature has prevailed long before the rise of political and class systems and will prevail beyond our own self-destruction. When encountering this work, reflect on a few questions:

  • What will happen when the accumulation of political power irreversibly destroys natural landscapes?

  • What will happen when resources are depleted and only those in power have the ability to survive?

  • What will happen when our decisions from today have annihilated our opportunities for tomorrow?

 

Power dynamics have a cyclical nature—they remain on a loop, suspended in time generation after generation in one form or another. With this in mind, consider how the construction of artificial islands create momentary political gain with lasting natural consequences—as sea levels rise, power dynamics shift.

“NO TITLE” is an artwork that exists but will not exist forever—it is not permanent enough to have a definable name. “NO TITLE” also implies there can be no winner in the game of man versus nature.

Conceived by Eight Fang and written in collaboration with Michelle Proksell August 2020 in Berlin

1 Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, by Jean-Pierre Gattuso and Nerilie Abram, Chapter 4: Sea Level Rise and Implications for Low Lying Islands, Coasts and Communities

2 Sea level rise projection in the South China Sea from CMIP5 models, HUANG Chuanjiang1, QIAO Fangli
3 The Environment, Geopolitics and Artificial Islands of Dubai in the Persian Gulf, Zahra Moussavi, Adeleh Aghaei

4 Understanding Human Rights and Climate Change, submission of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Exhibition documentation

NOTITLE

2019

 

100 x 60 x 320 cm, Installation

 

Glasses, GS Acrylic glass, GS Acrylic tube, iron rod, fishing string, meat hook, heat light

 

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