In January 2018 I hosted FRAGRANT / FUTURES as part of Studio Reflex at the Tate Modern inviting members of the public to join participatory events led by artists.
FRAGRANT / FUTURES forms part of a wider body of research collecting signals, thoughts and reactions from the public on how the future environment will ’sense’.
In particular I am interested in the sense of smell - a powerful sensory modality rich with associations and emotions.
For the event, I prepared three different scents embodied in plaster sculptures designed to evoke ‘artefacts’ excavated from different types of future environment. Participants were invited to smell and write down what associations came to mind - is this a post-apocalyptic earth or a breath of fresh air? A restorative forest or slow-degrading plastic?
The lengthy conversations I had with the public will attest - communicating climate change through scent suddenly brought a detached 'concept' (literally) right under the nose, creating an accessible route to talk about or collective future.