From Andrew Frost…
The word ‘sustainable’ gets thrown around a lot these days, used as an all-purpose adjective to gloss over the rapacious waste of contemporary consumer culture while trying appear reasonable, considered and thoughtful. While there are numerous valiant attempts to think of ways out of the dilemma of our warming planet, very few have considered the possibility of a cow-powered dirigible. Self-described ‘ecological designer’ Stephen Mushin‘s ongoing project Now If What Then gives form to thought experiments on solving ecological problems – some outlandish speculations such as building floating islands using old fridge freezers to serve as the base for polar bears farms, or perhaps more plausible plans such as converting whales into machines.
His touring exhibition makes an appearance at the Grace Cossington Smith Gallery where the ideas are revealed not as literal plans but as beguiling metaphorical cartoon thought bubbles that give form to a series of relationships between real world problems and things. As Mushin explains “The evolving exhibition’s projects involve collaborations with engineers and scientists to tackle problems, pitch ideas, attempt to explain how they could be built, and then explore what on earth would happen if the plans went ahead. The developed ideas are presented alongside ecological design workshops and talks which aim to kick-start design thinking for the rapid transformation of our cities.”
Until April 11
Grace Cossington Smith Gallery, Wahroonga
Pic: Stephen Mushin, Cowship, 2015.