Conny Blom Nina Slejko Blom

Conny Blom Nina Slejko Blom


The Green Drawings - I Pledge (Bergen)
160 framed drawings, audience interaction (pledges).
Collaboration with Nina Slejko Blom

Green for money, green for greed, green for nature, green for green deeds.

In the sixth iteration of our project, we are once more swapping drawings for environmental pledges—albeit this time the drawings are bigger, framed, and exhibited in a fitting setting: a former bank vault in one of the richest countries in the world. The drawings appear to be for free, but accepting a gift always comes at a price. And the bigger the gift, the bigger the debt. So let's talk about what we are willing to give. How do we vote? And what about political responsibility? Should we not turn flygskam into politician's shame? Don't you think we should make our leaders face up to the fact that eternal economic growth is incompatible with stopping the climate crisis? Why don't they regulate industries to ensure sustainability? Instead of teaching us responsible consuming (read, individual guilt), should our countries not rather ban enterprises that are effecting the climate negatively when a more sustainable option is available, and hold the people in charge of those activities personally liable for the damages done? And how about a state that moderates our diets and energy consumption? Are we willing to drive cars just twice per week, fly limited amount of miles, enjoy electricity-free evenings and eat rationed food? The bigger the gift, the bigger the profit.

During The Green Drawings - I Pledge (Bergen), at Kunsthall 3,14 in Bergen, Norway, The drawings were offered to the visitors in exchange for pledges to perform environment friendly actions or adding climate friendly behaviour to their everyday lives. The signed pledges were hung in place of the drawing on the wall, gradually changing the installation.

The Green Drawings is a project that uses the logic of free market capitalism to limit the total amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere. Current environmental politics put great faith in the free market to govern emissions. The amount of CO2 a country is allowed to release per year is limited, and big polluters must buy the rights for their emissions. Due to the finite number of such rights, if demand rises, so do the prices. This, in turn, creates an incentive for corporations to limit their emissions. In other words, if it is profitable, the market itself will save the world. But for that to happen the total number of emission rights would have to be severely reduced compared to the situation today.

The Green Drawings: I Pledge (Bergen) is the sixth in a series of Green Drawings presentations. The first iteration saw a series of green drawings – green in both senses of the word – on sale for 20 € each. The complete value of every sale went to the purchase of emission rights that were then locked away from the market. During the fifth iteration at EKO 8, International Triennial of Art and Environment in Maribor Slovenia (2021), the visitors could exchange previously collected descriptions of green deeds in book form for their own promises of green behaviour. From a cynical perspective, the project uses the same neoliberal logic that controls carbon dioxide emissions, to enable art consumers to buy themselves a guilt-free conscience.

Conny Blom