Utställning Feedbacks | Inequality and the Biosphere

Beckmans visual communication

Artistic designs highlight the links between climate and inequality in a highly topical exhibition at Svenskt Tenn.

The exhibition Feedbacks | Inequality and the Biosphere is a collaboration between Beckmans School of Design, Svenskt Tenn and the Beijer Institute and runs from 1-10 April. Using visual communication as a language, students from Beckmans have created works that provide new approaches to complex research. Design, imagination and humour are used to evoke empathy and commitment to sustainability in the exhibition at Svenskt Tenn.

The works are based on the research project Inequality and the Biosphere

The eight works in the exhibition are based on the interdisciplinary, international research project Inequality and the Biosphere, led by researchers from the Beijer Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. The research fields of equality and environmental change are usually treated separately from each other, but if we are to create an accurate picture of reality and our challenges, we need to understand how the two are interlinked. Inequality and the Biosphere looks at how different aspects of sustainability interact in complex cause and effect loops - so-called feedback loops. The project will contribute to the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 10, Reducing Inequality, and Goals 16 and 17, Oceans and Marine Resources and Ecosystems and Biodiversity.

Eight artistic approaches to complex cause and effect processes

Based on the research, some of the works depict the so-called trilemma: is it possible to achieve sustainability, prosperity and equality in parallel? Lova Rehle has portrayed this in a new version of the classic board game Monopoly, now renamed Monopoly Philanthropy. In her game, the goal is to achieve just that by playing a philanthropist with an eye on the survival of humanity.

The trilemma is also portrayed in the work Disposable Home by Edward Ström, in which the home has become a disposable item. When the disposable is used, it becomes another contribution to the decay of the ecosystem and a family is left without a home, with even less chance of finding a new one. The work may symbolise the unsustainable and unequal premises on which our societies rest - being able to choose what is best for the environment is often a privilege in itself.

Other works focus on human overconsumption and the environmental degradation it contributes to. I visited the Aral Sea and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt by Eliot Siekkinen Lydéen paraphrases the souvenir T-shirt to highlight travel and overconsumption, and how inequality can lead to environmental degradation, which in turn leads to even greater inequality. Anna Eriksson, in turn, plays with notions of status and perception to show that our behaviours are more controlled and have greater consequences than we might realise in her remake of Josef Frank's Italian Dinner pattern.

Participating students

Anna Eriksson, Axel Wahl, Calle Elf, Edward Ström, Eliot Siekkinen Lydéen, Ida Gustafsson, Lova Rehle, and Oskar Hannu.

About the collaborative project Beckmans x Svenskt Tenn x Beijerinstitutet

Since 2017, Beckmans School of Design has been collaborating with Svenskt Tenn and the Beijer Institute at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. Vetenskapsakademin in an annual research communication project. Students on the Visual Communication 180 ECTS programme are challenged to communicate in artistic projects the research conducted by the Beijer Institute, which in turn receives funding from the Kjell and Märta Beijer Foundation, which owns Svenskt Tenn. The assignment is thus twofold. On the one hand, the students are to provide new perspectives on the important research carried out by the Beijer Institute, and on the other, the project is to communicate that much of the research is financed by the surplus generated by Svenskt Tenn's sales.

The teacher responsible for the course has been Minna Sakaria, lecturer at Visual Communication.

Works of Essence

Works of Essence

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