SustainableITP—a committee of artists dedicated to addressing environmental issues at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)—has developed Climojis (climate change + emojis = climojis) to amplify conversations and inspire action on climate change.

Climoji

Spearheaded by Marina Zurkow, who is an acclaimed media artist, a 2011 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, and an ITP professor, and recent graduate Viniyata Pany, the Climoji project was established in an effort to create a visual representation of the realities of climate change as well as to facilitate a seamless way for climate change-related ideas to penetrate daily dialogue. After receiving a Green Grant through the NYU Office of Sustainability, a “Climoji-thon” took place, where SustainableITP facilitated image-generating brainstorming sessions with faculty members and students in environmental studies and ITP. The group created a collection of visual icons, which range from images of floods and tornados to a cow emitting methane gas or a whale ingesting a plastic bottle, among others.

“Artistic expression and the construction of non-scientific visual or verbal language are more than illustrations; when successfully rendered, they resonate and become a lens for seeing the world in new ways,” explains Zurkow. “Climate change is not exactly the kind of subject matter most people are addressing in their intimate SMS conversations. But if a starving polar bear becomes a metaphor for personal despair, then the language of climate change might actually be entering into the common discourse.”

Climojis are now available to download as a sticker pack on iPhones and Android devices. You can also access the Climoji PNG set and learn more about the project at https://climoji.org/

About ITP
ITP is a two-year graduate program in the NYU Tisch School of the Arts whose mission is to explore the imaginative use of communications technologies — how they might augment, improve, and bring delight and art into people's lives. ITP suggests that the best way to describe the program is as a “Center for the Recently Possible.” To find out more about ITP and its new affiliated undergraduate BFA program in Interactive Media Arts (IMA), launching in Fall 2018, go to itp.nyu.edu.

About the NYU Office of Sustainability
NYU launched its sustainability efforts in 2006 to galvanize the NYU community to plan and take action towards sustainability in the way we live, operate, educate, and innovate. The Office of Sustainability implements infrastructure projects, communication and engagement campaigns, and innovative programs to empower, inspire, and guide the NYU community to achieve its goals for sustainable practices and culture.

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