Medium: Performance Video Installation / Year: 2016

In the video installation 2 Degrees, two figures dance on a precipice, the borderline of destruction. Under the tides of the discourse on global warming, lies a series of human -made atrocities. The power to generate the signifiers of language, especially in the case of legislation, has countless ignored consequences. 
Two degrees Celsius is a bench mark number bandied about throughout the Marrakech Climate Change Conference. Most parties involved strove to set 2 degrees Celsius above pre-­industrial level as the capping point for global temperature. In the video, two figures struggle amidst a barren seascape. They are deformed, broken. The sound of waves, at times drowned out by a wind battered microphone, engulfs their movement. 
As the waves rise, countless of living beings will perish before the 2 degree limit is reached. The structural violence, formalized in academic and political discourse, won’t be able to contain the oncoming floods.

++ Title of Show: “I_and_Place.” Location: New York K&P Gallery, New York City, MA, USA. Date: 2017.
++ Title of Show: "In Response." Location: Godine Family Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA, USA. Date: 2017.

The video is comprised of a series of performance pieces. The pain, interwoven in the performers exploration of space, is akin to the trauma currently devastating the overlooked planes of the human and natural worlds. The black, reminiscent of crawling globs of black gold, ensnares the blind creatures/performers. They struggle inside their own structures, haunting the space behind lies and academic discourse. They are the phantoms of our twisted perception of security and out romantic misconceptions of natural spaces. 


The performances are set on Plum Island, Massachusetts. This thin strip of sand, is overly inhabited by bird watches and beach lovers: armies of wealthy white Americans with photographic eyes. These voyeurs of nature refuse to leave their glorified windbreaker, even though in a few years it will probably be washed away, stolen by the rising tides of human consumption. Much like the general population that forgets to remember how to stop their cannibalistic rampage, the inhabitants of Plum Island prefer to ignore the consequences of over-exploiting paradise. The creeping tides will crawl under the foundation of those who prefer to forget: forget that their very lifestyle produces the dancing ghosts of destruction.

Violent Execution
The discourse surrounding climate change (global warming) is often obscured, blackened by spectacular silences. The act of denying climate change is synonymous with the act of forgetting, purposefully voiding, a rapidly warming globe.  Along this vein, the debates that occurred during the Marrakech conference were dogged by their own variation of structural violence. The 2 Degree Celsius increase in the climate temperature a above pre-industrial levels is a generic call to action. 
When this benchmark was established, autocratic language legitimized, it became a tool of exclusion. Billions of living beings, nations and societies are now caught outside the limitations of this violent concept. The parties involved in the conference thus symbolically sacrificed entire segments of the global population. These forgotten people won’t reach the 2 Degree finish line and the see the world that has the privilege to survive its own attempted suicide.

Unless otherwise noted, the content has been created by Blake Lavia and Tzintzun Aguilar-Izzo.