Saturday, 26 May 2012

No-Snow Soot Globes

I've seen these in various places on the interwebs over the last couple of weeks, and so far nobody's mentioned what's wrong with them.

They're made by a U.K. art collective, Dorothy. You can buy a soot globe for £2000.  well, you can if there's still one left.
They say:
"The single greatest threat to the climate comes from burning coal but despite this a whole new fleet of dirty coal-fired power stations are on the verge of being built in the UK (the first for 30 years). The snow globe was designed for Ctrl.Alt.Shift in anticipation of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.
Limited edition of 2 – only 1 remains
* Please email so we can provide you with a cost for shipping before you buy."

As with so many earnest  artworks, the idea's pretty clever, but on closer examination?
Okay: The first glaring fault? see those four big 'chimneys', all smoke blackened inside?
Wrong! Only the tall narrow one is a chimney. The four large waisted shapes are actually not chimneys. No smoke goes into them, in real life they're full of heat exchangers to cool water which the power station will turn back into steam, and recycle through its steam-turbines.  No  smoke, no blackening.
And if this thing's meant to embody filthy planet-killing evil, then how come there's no huge coal-mountain awaiting burning? how come the trees and grass are thriving so well?
Fail, Dorothy!
Before you make art that makes statements about anything, do your homework!

Oh. and for £2,000, I'd expect an altogether more detailed scene. I want yellow bulldozers and coal trains, and protestors outside the gates, who've driven there in their oil-burning cars, and, the least you could do is NOT  say "Post and Packing extra".


  1. Yes indeed, these cooling towers are never dirty, just letting off steam.

  2. Replies
    1. I'll admit, I never knew what those big towers were for ... Yes, I've seen the steam, but I always imagined it to be some sort of noxious gas eating the ozone layer and sucking good clean fun oxygen out of the air ...



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