In the past decade, new buzz words have entered into media discourse and everyday language: ecological visualisations, carbon offsets, eco footprints, food miles etc. These abstractions signify our attempts to quantify individual responsibility and to find ways of facing up to the very real challenges of climate change, and the exploitation of finite natural resources.
Nuage Vert is based on the idea that public forms can embody an ecological project, materialising environmental issues so that they become a subject within our collective daily lives. Its material, collective and aesthetic dimension distinguishes it from other approaches.
A city scale light installation onto the ultimate icon of industrial pollution, alerts the public, generates discussion and can persuade people to change patterns of consumption.
Nuage Vert is ambiguous, as it doesn’t offer a simple moralistic message, but rather tries to confront the city dweller with an evocative and aesthetic spectacle, which is open to interpretation and challenges ordinary perception. Turning a factory emission cloud green, inevitably, leads to questions being asked. It shifts the discourse about climate change and carbon emissions from abstract immaterial models based on the individual, to the tangible reality of urban life. The project was situated in the cultural context and specific locality of Ruoholahti, a former industrial harbour redeveloped as modern residential district of Helsinki, Finland, where there is ever-increasing energy consumption.