Urgent and Unprecedented
—UU in CCC
Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris

Urgent and Unprecedented


UU is an artistic practice I am calling Urgent and Unprecedented, which began in October 2018 and runs until 2030. It is a 12 year social practice that coincides with the release of the UN ICPP climate report that states that human civilisation has 12 years to make massive social changes to curb the devastating impact of global warming, acidifying oceans and the melting of ice caps and permafrost.

Since the report was released I have begun to have conversations with people from the art field, including artists, curators, educators, institutional representatives, writers and cultural influencers to discuss the Current Climate Crisis (CCC) and how they carry it in their daily lives and art related field.

The meetings are often informal, happen mostly one-on-one, in cafes, on the train, in boardrooms.

As the report states we have twelve years, and therefore the artistic practice of UU runs for twelve years. From 2018 to 2030 I continue the practice of dialogical meetings, unpacking the complexities of the CCC and contemporary artistic practice every day.

Every day of these twelve years I commit to speak with and think with and be present to the CCC.

I thank all the people who have contributed to these conversations so far and I look forward to having more. Through the simple act of conversation, the UU practice develops friction and momentum, rubbing off and interweaving itself into the collective zeitgeist of art makers.

No doubt over time the practice will change, but for now it’s directly dealing with ideas of intimacy, denialism, urgency, friendship and ultimately the roles of art and artists within the CCC movement. Perhaps a reading list will grow from UU, perhaps a set of methods or a grammer, or a school will emerge but for now, it’s this. It’s speaking and listening to our own collective fears, reactions, guilt, complexities, connections (theoretically, politically, as well physically/materially as bodies). It’s acknowledging entanglements, complicities and privileges, and digging into processes of extraction from capitalist, consumerist, patriarchal, racist, colonialist structures and systems which feed and uphold the unequal impacts of the current climate crisis.

Sppechlesssnesss is a common sentiment to the CCC, and until very recently there has been a muzzle and muteness in much of the art world in connection to these issues. It’s been seen on the fringes or labelled as ‘only’ activism. There has been an unsure quietness. A guilty night sweat. A hope or a desire that focusing very hard on something less tangible will make this less tangible, but fundamentally artists build visions. And visions are what we need right now.

Artists are queens of smell and touch and taste making, leaving sticky and sweet trails on everything they pass over, table tops with snail marks of where the artists have been. And the CCC deserves more than panicked coal loving politicians, the young people fighting the CCC won’t/don’t/shan’t/can’t know any other reality than this present where the CCC is a current emergency. It’s not best left to technocractic fixes or business(men) as usual.

This is a moment that seeks desperately for leadership, desperately for vision.

This is a call to artists, writers, producers and curators, cultural workers, collectors, directors, interns, art educators and more: it’s time for us to use our magic, our well-honed skills, our collaborative tools and artistic methodologies to work together and compel the CCC conversation from words into actions.

The CCC is about global inequalities of power, and it’s about the intersection of the attacks on free media, Indigenous land right struggles and sovereignty movements, attacks on women’s health and LGBTQI rights, it’s about anti-fascism, labour laws and solidarity, and it’s about learning to what it is to be in this ‘together’ and the widening of our consciousness to see and enact change within the spheres of power that we operate as artists and makers.

It’s not all over but it’s time to consider your surrounds and see; what tools you have, what spheres of influence you have, what privileges you carry and how you can pay it forward.

Greta says she wants us to panic. In panic there is also love, grief, regrets, comrades, missed opportunities, newly formed alliances but above all there are shoulders for us to stand on. Let’s panic and get to work, let’s panic and dance, let’s panic and share a conversation, becoming less speechless and more speechful.

Artists have always spoken and now is no different.

In solidarity,
Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris
Artist and Curator



A coffee conversation with Emmeli 
A text conversation with Alex
Talking about stones with Nina
Bushfire talks with the world 

Talk from 2019.04.16

Hoppas allt är fint! Jag tänkte bara stämma av lite kort inför torsdag. Tänkta att jag kanske är på plats då runt 17-17.30?
Det kommer vara 6 poeter som läser total, så tänkte att det kanske kan funka med tre läsningar 18.30 och sen tre läsningar 19.30?
Sen funderar jag på att bjuda poeterna på lite bubbel, och undrar om jag kan ta med det till er? Eller om jag bara köper av er på något sätt? Eller har medverkande och arrangör automatiskt "drinkbiljtetter"?
Sen undrar jag också om man kan betala med swish hos er? hehe
Du nämnde något om en projektor att visa utdrag ur antologin med, ska jag skicka inlagan och omslag som pdf-fil eller vad behöver ni iså fall för material/format?
Ser fram emot detta, ska bli så kul!!


Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris is a Swedish/Australian curator and artist based in Stockholm. She is undertaking doctoral studies from the University of New South Wales on the connection between the current climate crisis and contemporary art practice in the Nordic region.

A note on terms - I choose to use the term Current Climate Crisis to discuss the combined and interconnected changes that are happening on a planetary scale that include climate change, global warming, acidification of oceans, melting ice caps, bleaching coral reefs, the sixth mass extinction and the systems that work to sustain these, including but not limited to neo-liberalism, colonialism, racism, misogyny, anti-LGBTQI+ politics and ableism.

https://bronwynbc.com/                                                                        Visuals: Emmeli Person