Climate Despair and Eco-Anxiety Therapy (CDET) 

Recently included in the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles ICLA's 2020 Field Workshops program.

Participatory Art Project with Space Saloon and Creative Migration

CDET is a socially engaged artwork addressing the burgeoning environmental mental distress in response to the climate crisis. In light of the current pandemic, the project has been reformatted as a 'Climate Crisis Hotline' so that we may engage with audiences from a distance. This art project will go live at the end of August, hosted by the ICLA.

Through a continuously growing audio archive of experiences, public workshops and expert interviews, CDET aims to collectively confront the psychological paralysis gripping individuals and communities caused by the climate crisis. We are not offering technological solutions, but rather a welcoming place to be heard, and an opportunity to connect with others who may be sharing similar fears. 

At its core, CDET is a mobile sound booth and a therapeutic, confessional space for the public to express anxieties on the environment. A set of mobile furniture is designed specifically for relaxation, reflection and repose. It takes its design influence from the playbooks of therapy offices, confessional stalls and meditation rooms; the space will focus on engaging multiple layers of stimuli ‒ light, sound, smell and texture.

In 2005, Australian academic and philosopher Glenn Albrecht developed the concept “Solastasia” to give greater meaning and clarity to environmentally induced distress. His work delves into the relationship between humans, their built environment, the natural environment and their psychological state. Furthermore, he has developed other terms that validate emotions concerning our planet’s current conditions: Eco-anxiety, Nature Deficit Disorder, Eco-paralysis, Eco-Nostaligia and Global Dread.

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