Published August 8, 2023 | Version 1.2
Working paper Open

Climate Uncertainty and the Arts

  • 1. University of Sussex


Uncertainty is an intrinsic part of all policy, planning and practice. In connection with climate change, uncertainty has unique features which require innovative interdisciplinary methods alongside traditional approaches. Arts practice can foster complementary and alternative approaches to uncertainty.

Arts practice is however often not well understood in science, policy and organisational contexts. Arts practitioners may bring unfamiliar ways of working and evaluating progress and success. Where there are inappropriate expectations (such as wishful thinking) this may lead to ineffectual or even adverse results. Care should be taken not to overestimate the capacity of arts workshop participants to imagine alternative climate futures from scratch, without adequate information, inspiration, space and support. The role of arts practice should also be considered within the context of wider cultural production, climate policy, and the science and political economy of climate change. Arts practitioners are seldom well-placed to comprehensively evaluate the impact of arts interventions within these contexts.


Jo Lindsay Walton, Climate Uncertainty and the Arts.pdf

Files (646.2 kB)