Visualizing the power of extreme temperatures, and how to get ready
Heatwaves, like art, can be most impactful when crossing critical thresholds that trigger abrupt change. Yet most people and organizations remain insufficiently aware of the severe threat posed by heatwaves, probably in part because risk communication about extreme temperatures has been dominated by conventional approaches that have failed to inspire.
We aim to harness the power of creative communications to manage the serious risk of extreme temperatures, by developing a new approach to advocacy on extreme temperatures: ThermoChromic Art.
Recent developments in chemical engineering have enabled the creation of “thermochromic pigment”: paint that changes its color attributes when exposed to changing temperature (for example: going from black to transparent, or from red to yellow). In close collaboration with many partners, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre is leading an initial exploration of thermochromic approaches to climate risk communication through ThermoChromic Art.
– A thermochromic cartoon with a skeptical fish thinking “Maybe a few degrees warmer won’t be that bad”: when exposed to heat, the expression of the fish changes to surprise+horror, as dead fish appear floating (see photo above).
– Covid masks that seems black. Exposed to heat from human exhalation it reveals “Inspire or Expire”.
Remarkably, our first ThermoChromic Art creations for COP26 were so well received that they were featured in one of the world’s leading contemporary art museums, the Tate Modern (see tweet).