Decade ZERO: Artistic Climate Action

by Ben Yau + Zaneta Zukalova in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 28th August 2017 we successfully raised £210 with 2 supporters in 28 days

Highlighting the urgency of climate change, ocean acidification, and environmental pollution through an ambitious exhibition in London.

by Ben Yau + Zaneta Zukalova in London, England, United Kingdom


  • Decade ZERO

Definition: n. The last few years in which we can still tackle dangerous climate change if we take the necessary drastic action now.

We have all heard of climate change, and yes, most of us believe it is a real and dangerous thing caused by human activity.  So why hasn't this been reflected in governmental policy making?

There certainly isn't money to be made in highlighting climate change for the powerful fossil fuel industry who lobby, and become ever more entwined, within governments.   On the contrary, our free market economy means that the profit incentive lies in making sure that we, the public, do absolutely nothing about this issue.  It doesn't help that the most devastated communities at the moment are in faraway countries, that are paradoxically the least responsible for these dangerous emissions.

To make matters worse, there hasn't been a relatable and powerful enough mass movement by progressive people.  All of this means that the general public cannot grasp the sheer gravity and urgency of the matter, even if they know that climate change is happening right now.

We have been warned for decades; the longer we wait, the closer we are to the point of no return.  The time to act is now.  It is Decade Zero of the climate issue.


  • How Can Art Help?

Art is powerful.  It can bring communities together; it can spark protest; ultimately, it can be a catalyst to real, significant change. When there was unprecedented photojournalistic access to the Vietnam War, it was artists, writers, poets who took lead and sparked protest that eventually brought this pointless and destructive event to an end.  Art can provide a sense of something tangible that people can grasp onto – an idea that burns in people's minds and hearts long afterwards – even pertaining to issues that are obscure in space or time.

In short, art holds the potential for expressing abstruse ideas to a wide audience and igniting public action.  We need your support in order to organise an art exhibition in London to highlight the injustices of climate change, ocean acidification, and environmental pollution.

Our aim is to animate the public and bring people into real action in the fight for your grandchildren's future.


  • The Exhibition

We are aiming for the exhibition to take place at an easily accessible and inclusive space in London during September 2017.  The duration will depend on how much we can raise, but we think if we can raise £2000 we can make it to a week.

The more funding > the longer the exhibition > the more publicity for the cause > the better chance we have.

Our main artwork, titled Acid Tank, will be a durational installation incorporating a large glass receptacle dominating the centre of the exhibition space.  It will contain a towering sculpture made of ethically sourced sea shells submerged in acidified water.  To demonstrate the damaging consequences of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the resulting acidification of our oceans, the sculpture will gradually disintegrate (and perhaps suddenly collapse) over the duration of the show, leaving a barren tank of sediment water.  This process is the very same that causes irrevocable damage to the Great Barrier Reef.

Several other artworks will surround this, including an 'oil spill' onto pages of financial data, a collage reimagining climate change onto well known paintings, a ruined neon sign, and a 'magic' mirror ;)

We don't want to reveal all the details before the exhibition.  But here's what we can tell you: it will be engaging.  It will be moving.  It will be enraging.  It will make ExxonMobil, Shell, and British Petroleum afraid.

We cannot stress this enough: if we do not raise sufficient funding, we cannot make the exhibition happen.  Any amount will help towards the fight for climate action.

Thank you!

All artworks will be made by Ben Yau and Zaneta Zukalova.

(Header background image depicts specific atmospheric humidity on June 17, 1993, during the Great Flood that hit the Midwestern United States. Courtesy of NASA)


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£15 or more

£15 Reward

A personal invitation to our opening. Homemade drinks and bites provided.

£20 or more

0 of 18 claimed

£20 Reward

A limited set of 4 postcards of the exhibited works.

£50 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£50 Reward

A personal invitation to our opening, as well as your name immortalised in our exhibition catalogue.

£95 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£95 Reward

Framed sculpture made of recycled plastics that we used in the process of making the artworks. Limited number.

£300 or more

0 of 4 claimed

£300 Reward

A handmade and bespoke "oil spill" printwork (roughly A3) that will make use of your birth date (or a date of your choosing). We can't reveal what this will look like yet, but it will be beautiful yet haunting. Signed, dated, and numbered on the back.

Got an idea like this?

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