Cold Comfort

Reading the Paris Agreement | Amy Balkin

On the eve of Winter Solstice of the hottest year thus far on record, December 21, 2017, we convene for a participatory performance of the work of American artist Amy Balkin: “Reading The Paris Agreement.” Although it has been signed by over 100 nations, The Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international agreement that offers #coldCOMFORT in the face current poltical upheaval and record breaking temperatures in the Polar regions. This event plays on the meaning of the English language phrase “that’s cold comfort,” as in “that’s not very reassuring!” At the same time, we can anticipate a near future in which the timely arrival of winter weather will be greeted with joy and relief. In anticipation of the darkest day of the year, we meet to reflect on the changing cultural significance of the traditional astronomical marker of the beginning of Winter and to confront the capacities and limitations of the bureaucratic infrastructure that is currently responsible for achieving our collective survival.