By 2070, Chicago could expect 35 percent more precipitation in winter and spring, but 20 percent less in summer and fall. By then, the conditions would have changed enough to make the area’s plant hardiness zone akin to Birmingham, Ala.
- Kaufman, Leslie. "A City Prepares for a Warm Long-Term Forecast." New York Times 23 May 2011: A1. Print.
97 percent of the surface of Greenland's ice sheet thawed over a four day period in the summer of 2012, the salinity of the oceans is changing more extremely and rapidly than predicted, and the frequency and intensity of severe weather events, such as Hurricane Sandy and Katrina, will continue to increase. These real and devastating climate-change-influenced events expose the impermanence of constants we cling to for reassurance and stability and engender fears that are as ubiquitous as they are amorphous. As Jeffery Jerome Cohen states in his book, Monster Theory: Reading Culture, "America creates and commodifies 'ambient fear'- a kind of total fear that saturates day-to-day living." While this fear is ever-present, it is never openly acknowledged. The anxiety that ambient fear creates, Cohen continues, “is born of the twin desire to name that which is difficult to apprehend and to domesticate (and therefore disempower) that which threatens." In an effort to neutralize these global warming threats, society creates fictions designed to exorcise, to relieve, or to ignore the anxiety caused by these fears. The novel The Road, the movie 2012, and the television series The Walking Dead are recent examples of such narratives, where the arc of the apocalyptic story is designed to lead the audience to solace. Threat is avoided in each instance because it is created and resolved within a short time frame. This gives the readers/viewers only a glancing and safely disengaged non-encounter with fear and, in the end, leaves them with the feeling of reprieve.
When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth.
- Dawn of the Dead. James Gunn & George A. Romero. United Film Distribution Company, 1978. Film.
Unlike these fear-driven narratives, the purpose of my work is not to ask viewers to passively ignore climate change and its fear-inducing effects. Neither is it a call-to-arms to end carbon emissions. The goal is to create an experience that is both emotionally-complex and an alternative to the often confusing, numbers-based, phenomenon of climate change and its alarming products. Through poetic sleight of hand, this work exemplifies the anxieties and fears surrounding climate change while also offering a psychological-cum-superstitious respite. These irreconcilable fears are embodied in pieces such as Apple, Initiative Games, and Nitefalll. White Hex, Emerald (Birth Stone), the Garrisons, and other works propose a shared emotional understanding through acceptance and superstition.
disrupt things, in a way that doesn't take anything away
- steve roden (from a studio visit) 2009.
In my studio, I work from concept to object. My ideas dictate the materials and forms from which, because of my desire to work directly with objects themselves rather than pictorial representations of these objects, I often create appropriation-based artworks. Meaning, then, is created through the combination of connotations within and between the objects, images, titles, and materials taken from everyday life in order to provide an accessible point of entry. In all of my work, I would like my viewers to reflect on what these four elements mean in combination with one another. In this way, I am asking viewers to become active participants in the meaning making process.
Adam lives in Orlando, Florida, where he is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Rollins College. He also co-curates, with Allison Yasukawa, for the residential art space, Lease Agreement. He graduated with his MFA in studio art from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2009 and his BFA in painting and drawing from Illinois State University in 2006.