Espejito, espejito AKA charco de petróleo, an installation for Winter is Alive it’s installed at Lake Monona by John Nolen Drive between Olin Park and North Shore Drive. Madison WI.
Thank you to Pablo Baxter, Lars W. Koch, Emily Popp and Giacomo Castro Candito
Mirror, mirror on the lake, who’s the fairest of them all?
Constructed with reclaimed black synthetic fabrics (made with oil), “Espejito, espejito AKA charco de petróleo” represents a potential oil spill on the lake caused by a pipeline. The fairytale is a reference to the human obsession with beauty or progress, and how it is used as leverage over others – the idea of indoctrination and normalization of very specific concepts starting in childhood that helps to build and perpetuate stereotypes.
The oil industry, assimilated into our culture, has been abusing every aspect of our society with its power structures. It is incredible that in 2021, burning fossil fuels is the status quo, no matter the environmental consequences. Mirror, mirror, who is the most selfish and powerful of them all? For farsighted people, this is an opportunity to imagine the possibility of another oil spill. With that image reflected at us, this is a call to take action and demand our vital bodies of water be protected for future generations.
The time to wake up to identify and defund the systems and corporations behind our current situation is now. Despite our knowledge, we keep buying and using products that are detrimental to our planet, our health, and our kids’ futures. We allow the government, health care system, churches and universities to invest our money into destructive agendas despite the fact that they are institutions that are supposed to care for the common good. We are not questioning the narrative that it is good for the economy even though in reality it is only good for a powerful few. We are numbed, distracted, enjoying today as if tomorrow didn’t matter. Is consuming our way towards self-destruction the American way? We have all of the tools, we have all of the information, we have the ability to exchange knowledge and distribute new ideas at a viral rate. Why is it so hard to accept the facts and act with responsibility for the future?
Members of the scientific community have been speaking loudly about the dangers of unregulated fossil fuel combustion and its close relationship to climate change for more than fifty years. If we are to fix this problem, we must shut down the pipeline of subsidies, resources and money fueling the dark fossil fuels industry. It is disturbing, and it should be a crime, that a few corporations have worked hard to disrupt the public’s access and understanding of this information. Today, all over the world, we are experiencing the devastating effects and consequences of an irresponsible business model based on the hypothetical infinite processes of extraction and the burning of fossil fuels. The market can keep expanding, the economy may be strong, but the possibility of a livable future is still in peril.
WAKE UP! visualizes the data of the Keeling Curve, documenting the rise of CO2 levels over time. These banners represent a small portion of this curve, showing the last ten years of measurements. One hundred and twenty sheets were painted by members of the Madison community and brought to the streets on September 20, 2019 as part of the Global Climate Strike. This project is ongoing, the banners will return to the streets and this project will get recreated around the world to demand climate action. You can help make this happen.
We need to continue to connect the dots between scientific data and our lived reality, between the choices we make with our wallets, the ways we choose to live our lives, and the impact of our actions. WAKE UP! invites you to consider what you can do to contribute to the construction of a better future.
WAKE UP! and join us.