In the frame

Ahead of US mid-term elections, artist urges a vote for planet earth

Need a reason to vote in tomorrow’s US mid-term elections? The artist and climate change activist Justin Brice Guariglia gives you plenty in a one-minute video, commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and due to be released on its website today. The barrage of clips are taken from television news reports on environmental disasters like wildfires and hurricanes, along with social media posts and popular culture like the Simpsons—bookended by US President Trump giving a speech in which he tells his audience to “enjoy the fireworks”. The screen then cuts to black and viewers are urged to “TAKE OUR PLANET BACK. VOTE PLANET EARTH.” Guariglia plans to turn the short spot into a larger video installation, “with a narrative showing the Biblical, climate-related Book of Job-type scenarios that are playing out daily on TVs around the planet,” he says. The onslaught of images is “a reflection or snapshot of our planet today. We are smack in the middle of a mass extinction event. There is widespread ecological collapse happening right now around the planet that everyone is either ignoring or too disconnected from to understand its implications, so they don’t feel personally affected by it, but this is something that will impact everyone, everywhere, and it’s real. My work is meant to bridge that gap”.