Opportunities > Visual Art and Climate Change commission | Trondheim, Norway
14 Mar 2016

Visual Art and Climate Change commission | Trondheim, Norway



International call for an Artist Commission - Visual Art and Climate Change, Climart, Trondheim, Norway. The commission is part of a major art science research project and seeks a collaboration towards a new public artwork, to take place over around 12 months.

As part of a major art science research project examining the effectiveness of visual language on perceptions of climate change, Climart seeks to commission an artist to collaborate with the project’s panel of psychologists, natural scientists and arts professionals toward a new public artwork for Trondheim, Norway to be installed for spring 2017. This commission will run over a period of approximately 12 months and it is envisaged that some of this time will be spent in Norway facilitated by an artist’s fee and, where relevant, support from project partners. The final goal is the creation of a public artwork that embodies aspects of the research, creating a platform to test significance, affect and impact.

About Climart and the research

Communicating the facts of climate change is one of the most serious challenges of our era. Although there has been significant research about the visualization of climate change, research about the contribution of contemporary art has been scarce. The focus of Climart is to examine the underlying psychological mechanisms involved in both the production and reception of visual art and to use these findings in an attempt to unite the natural sciences to the visual arts. Ultimately, the project aims to identify effective communication methodologies that have the capacity to reach greater audiences, initiate discussion and potentially influence attitudes.

Climart is a four-year project, funded by the Norwegian Research Council and housed at the Norges Teknisk-naturvitenskapelige Universitet (NTNU) in the city of Trondheim. NTNU is one of Norway’s leading academic centres, with two of its researchers receiving the 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine. Climart is run by a panel of world-class researchers who extend beyond NTNU to include Harvard University (USA), Penn State University (USA), The University of Hertfordshire (UK) and Cape Farewell (UK), to name a few. The project benefits from two full time PhD researchers in psychology and one in the theory of art, as well as an artist consultant based in Norway for the facilitation of the public artwork. The successful artist will have access to these networks and benefit from the expertise held within the project

Climart was launched in 2014 and is shaped by the interdisciplinary discourses of the panel. Stage one, now nearing completion, is a wide-ranging psychological study conducted to assess how audiences perceive and engage with art that attempts to communicate issues around climate change. Stage two brings the findings back to panel for analysis and debate, and is timed to align with the commissioning of the artist, who will be seen as the completing member of the panel. The final stage will be a culmination of the research, discourses and exchanges embodied in a public artwork in Trondheim. For more information on the panel and the research areas see: www.climart.info

About the commission

This is an opportunity to develop new work that responds to an on-going psychological study seeking to uncover what methods of making most effectively communicate the science of climate change. Within this framework there is significant scope to develop the efficacy of art/science collaborations and make a high profile work with strong impact.

We are therefore seeking an artist who is interested in engaging fully with the work being conducted by the Climart project. This means that the commissioned artist will become an active member of the project, both benefitting from and contributing to the discourses of the team. In line with this, the artist will be expected to attend key activities, such as the yearly project symposiums, and negotiate inclusion in other relevant activities.

Artist Criteria

  • A commitment to collaborating with cross-disciplinary partners.

  • An ability to create artwork that reacts and responds to discourse and research information.

  • A track record of project management toward a public outcome.

  • A commitment to oversee the completion of a final artwork, and participate in activities around public engagement, feedback and legacy.

  • An engagement with the issue of climate change.


  • To test how scientific data is best embodied in an artwork; how can this be translated into affective processing?

  • Stimulate debate about the effects of, and our effect on, climate change

  • Create an artwork that will having a lasting effect on the viewer; provoke discussions about positive change.

  • Engage new audiences with both the thematic and contemporary art and climate change.

  • Attract audiences to the site of the artwork and augment Trondheim’s ambitious art in public spaces programme

Expression of interest deadline: 14 March 2016


  • Artists fee

  • Production and installation costs

  • Transport/delivery of work

  • Travel and accommodation expenses in relation to time spent in Norway (as negotiated)

TOTAL BUDGET: NK 550,000 (approx. 57.000 Euro)


Applicants must have previous experience of collaborative working methods and experience in realising public art projects / commissions. A good level of English for communicating with the research team is essential.