Tipping Point was presented in Djurgården (Galärparken), Stockholm in collaboration with the Institute for Future Studies, Rikstolvan and Liljevachs Kunsthall. The art installation was accompanied by a seminar series featuring international experts, climate scientists and artists.
The project was organised in relation to the UN high-level meeting Stockholm + 50, which was hosted by Sweden and Kenya jointly. It is fifty years since the UN’s first environmental conference, the Stockholm Conference in 1972.
In the performance/installation Tipping Point, visitors encounter a large kinetic sculpture, sited on the floor of a darkened room. The mobile comprises various rotating rocker arms, onto which platforms and counterweights are hung. These platforms are occupied by actors whose movements set the mobile rocking; the counterweights consist of a slowly melting iceberg and a black sphere. The people moving on the platforms assume different roles; the weather god plays on an old theatrical machine once used to simulate the sounds of weather such as storms and rain on stage. The meteorologist, placed in the centre of a satellite dish, collects information about tomorrow through various weather instruments. On one platform that has a root system on its underside, someone is swirling through a flag dance, and on a rocky formation in a diorama-like cross-section of the wilds, an orienteer is sitting listening to the weather forecast.
The performance is a loop, which completes its cycle every fifteen minutes. Through its imposing scale and unlikely construction, the sculpture induces a feeling of insecurity, the sense that it could all come crashing down at any second. Like the stressed biosphere, threatened by movements towards irreversible cascades of tipping points, the sculpture teeters on the brink of catastrophe. Will it collapse, or will equilibrium and stability be achieved?
Bigert & Bergström. Tipping Point, 2021. Exhibition catalogue.
"Tipping Point", 2021 Mobile construction: aluminum, steel, rubber, cable, electric motors, gears,control panel 1800 × 1800 × 700 cm. Tipping Point, which was supported by the FORMAS Foundation and it has been developed as a collaboration between Bigert & Bergström and researchers from the Institute for Futures Studies (IFFS) within the framework of the research program Climate Ethics and Future Generations.
Photos: Jean-Baptiste Béranger