NiTRO Creative Matters

Perspectives on creative arts in higher education

Particular types of artwork change views on climate change

New research by Norwegian researchers Laura Kim Sommer and Christian A. Klöckner has shown that artistic works do have the capacity to change viewers’ perspectives on climate change, but their research indicates that it is restricted to a particular artistic style. Their research, reported in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, focused on visitors’ reactions to works included in the ArtCOP21 climate change festival held alongside the 2015 UN climate change conference in Paris. The researchers categorised the 37 works on show into four categories based on their content: “the comforting utopia,” “the challenging dystopia,” “the mediocre mythology,” and “the awesome solution.” Only three of the works, in “the awesome solution” category, described as “beautiful and colourful depictions of sublime nature that are showing solutions to environmental problems” made people feel able to do something about climate change. The full paper is at: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-36639-001

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