Entertainment Local

Generation Hot spotlights climate change with new talent

By Zoe Grams

O Sanada 150M is an imaginative take on Canada 150. It is one of many stories featured as part of Generation Hot. (Submitted Photo)

O Sanada 150M is an imaginative take on Canada 150. It is one of many stories featured as part of Generation Hot. (Submitted Photo)

Vancouver Fringe Festival is now underway and amidst the festivities and comedies, one innovative arts project is changing perceptions of tragedy: climate change and the impending (and already visited) environmental consequences.

Generation Hot describes the two billion people born after 1988 who are subject to the results of global warming. For ticket holders, the title refers to a bold and highly imaginative collection of five site-specific performances by emerging artists as part of the 2017 Fringe Festival.

The shows represent the sixth year that production company The Only Animal has worked with Vancouver Fringe to produce impactful, provoking shows. For Artistic Producer Eric Rhys Miller, it also marks his final production with the company.

“This is the new generation of Fringe artist…” says Miller. “People who have put months of work, learning, and risk into bringing these stories to life. (Audiences) will see things that will be unforgettable, undeniable and — I hope — feel like necessary stories.”

The tales cover a gamut of possibilities that audiences will discover as they walk with or gather around the performers — each of whom decided both the location of their piece and how they would respond to the theme of “water.”

Stories include a family drama depicting two brothers clashing over how to best support local fisherman (Brothers); a quest for water in a mythical, prehistoric Mexico (Citlali); and a fantastical scenario in which youth are required to recreate their own world without the guidance of adults (Wyspa). There’s even a performance that offers a “highly imaginative” take on Canada 150, asking whether national anthems are dangerous (O SANDADA 150M).

When asked why art can so powerfully convey information about climate change, Miller shared, “There’s as many answers to that as artists who work in that area ... But the great thing about this program is we see artists engage in different ways. People are exposed to a lot of information. There’s a lot of science out there but the needle isn’t moving in terms of action.”

He hopes such works can change that.

So, too, do Coltura — a Seattle-based not-for-profit that uses events and performances to campaign for a gasoline-free North America by 2040. Their latest work, The Gas Trap, introduces them in Canada for the first time, during performances this Sunday, Sept. 10 at The Roundhouse in Yaletown.

The title refers to a spectacle: a two-storey tall vinyl bubble that slowly fills with the (supposed) exhaust fumes from a real car parked nearby. Artists inside — performing routine tasks — panic as their atmosphere is slowly consumed.

The installation art, Metz hopes, will remind viewers that the same applies to our own atmosphere.

“We think of our atmosphere as boundless and capable of infinite absorption, but it is limited, and increasingly saturated with pollution and carbon dioxide — much of which comes from cars,” he explains.

In a world of often-meaningless spectacle, add some provocation to your entertainment this September.

Generation Hot runs from Sept. 7 to 16. Admission is $12 and available at www.vancouverfringe.com. The Gas Trap runs this Sunday at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Performances are free to attend. For further information visit www.theonlyanimal.com and www.coltura.org.